On Wednesday, North Dakota Highway Patrol Colonel Jim Hughes told a national television audience that Bell is known to frequent Country-Western bars and try to pick up women with small children.
Bell was being transferred from the North Dakota State Penitentiary to a super maximum-security facility in Oregon when he escaped Thursday, October 14. He was travelling on a bus that was carrying about 30 prisoners destined for other West Coast prisons, and made his escape during a gas station stop in Santa Rosa, N.M.
According to the private company that operates the transport bus, Bell had a handcuff key hidden in the sole of his shoe that remained undetected after a strip search. They say that during the stop he removed his leg and wrist irons and escaped through a ventilation hatch onto the roof of the bus with the aid of another prisoner. He remained on the roof until the bus pulled away and then slipped off undetected.
North Dakota Gov. Ed Schafer said the state is offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to Bell's capture. A complete description of the fugitive and additional information can be found on the state's Web site.
Bell was sentenced in North Dakota on Sept. 24 to life in prison for the murder of Jeanna North, an 11-year-old Fargo girl who disappeared from her home in June 1993. Her remains have never been found; Bell told police he dumped her body in a river.