crimesider

Three Inmates Escape Arizona Prison: 2 at Large, 1 Caught in Colo.

Daniel Renwick (AP Photo)

PHOENIX (CBS/AP) The search continues for two convicted murderers who escaped from a private prison in northwest Arizona, while a third escaped convict was back behind bars following a shootout early morning Sunday with police in western Colorado.

Police believe the two who remain at large are still in Arizona.

Early Sunday, a police officer spotted Daniel Renwick, 36, in a brown sport utility vehicle in Colorado some 670 miles from the medium-security Arizona State Prison, said Charles Ryan, director of the Arizona Department of Corrections.

The officer pursued Renwick, gunshots were exchanged, and the convict was eventually taken into custody without anyone being injured, Ryan said.

Renwick had been serving a 22-year sentence for second-degree murder when he and the other two inmates escaped Friday evening by cutting a hole in the prison's perimeter fence. The men then kidnapped two semi-truck drivers at gunpoint and used the big rig to flee, authorities said.

Police said the two men who remain at large - Tracy Province, 42, and John McCluskey, 45 - should be considered dangerous. Province was serving a life sentence for murder and robbery, and McCluskey was serving 15 years for second-degree murder, aggravated assault and discharge of a firearm.

The men are believed to be traveling with a woman suspected of helping in the escape, 44-year-old Casslyn Mae Welch.

Authorities believe the three are in a silver, four-door Volkswagen Jetta with the Arizona license plate 334 VAN. Authorities said one of the escaped convicts bought the car Saturday in west Phoenix. Police believe he may have presented a phony ID during what apparently was a cash transaction.

According to police Sgt. James Jackson, at about 5 a.m. local time Saturday, the group kidnapped two drivers of a semi-truck in Kingman and forced them at gunpoint to drive two hours east to Flagstaff.

The group left the drivers, unharmed, in the truck at a stop just off Interstate 40 and then fled. Police spent much of Saturday using helicopters and dogs to search for the men.

Authorities urged anyone with information to use caution and call police immediately.