PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Two teenage boys who escaped from a juvenile detention center in Westmoreland County have been taken into custody.
After more than 24 hours, the urgent search for 16-year-old Braedon Dickinson and 14-year-old Robert Cogdell came to an end in the middle of the night.
On Monday morning, Trooper Cliff Greenfield with Pennsylvania State Police told KDKA-TV that the boys were located and there was a chase on foot before they were both apprehended.
"Our troopers, working with other agencies and with the Westmoreland County Sheriff's Office, were able to identify a location where we believe these two juveniles were in Fayette County and we were able to apprehend them near that location following a foot pursuit," said Trooper Greenfield.
He said how Dickinson and Cogdell managed to run away from the juvenile detention center in Hempfield Township is under investigation, but it is believed they were in an unsecured area of the facility, and they were able to walk out of the building around 8:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Dickinson is one of seven suspects charged in connection with the July 2022 homicide of 39-year-old Jason Raiford in New Kensington. Three suspects in that case were on trial last week withand the other two found not guilty of murder, but other charges.
Cogdell's charges are not being released due to his age.
Trooper Greenfield also said the boys were believed to have stolen an F-150 truck in South Greensburg and that they were possibly armed. The stolen vehicle case is being handled by the South Greensburg Police Department.
"This was a very serious situation with the escape of two juveniles from a facility and the potential that they had stolen a vehicle with a handgun in the vehicle so it's a very serious situation. It's an all-hands-on-deck situation," said Trooper Greenfield.
The Westmoreland County District Attorney's Office confirmed to KDKA-TV that Dickinson's case was de-certified from adult court to juvenile court. Now there's a current motion to have it re-certified and it is expected to be decided next week.
With Dickinson and Cogdell no longer on the run and in custody, it's unclear if this will lead to additional charges being added.
"It potentially could, that is something that would be reviewed by our investigators," said Trooper Greenfield. "We were thankful that it came to a resolution last night with their apprehension," he added.
KDKA-TV is waiting to hear back from the director and deputy director of the Westmoreland County Juvenile Detention Center to find out what's being done to prevent escape incidents in the future.
Westmoreland County District Attorney Nicole Ziccarelli released the following statement about the escape:
"Anytime a juvenile is charged with a serious offense, it is my position that they should be held in a secure facility pending disposition.
"Failure to secure them after serious, violent offenses puts not only public safety at risk but puts law enforcement at undue risk.
"I have been advocating for the center to be reopened."
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