LAGRANGE, Ga. — UPDATE: The Troup County Sheriff's Office announced both the escaped inmates have been captured and are in custody.
Channel 2 Action News has just obtained new surveillance footage of the inmates running from the jail. See the video on Channel 2 Action News at Noon.
Deputies were searching for two inmates who escaped from the Troup County Jail in LaGrange on Wednesday night.
Officials said guards discovered that two inmates were missing Thursday around 8 a.m.
Deputies reviewed surveillance footage and saw the men climb down a drain pipe outside the Sheriff's Office around 11p.m. Wednesday.
Sgt. Stewart Smith identified the inmates as Thomas Christopher Cuddington and Eric Calvin Bell. Both were in jail on drug charges and other fairly minor offenses.
Channel 2's Richard Elliot spoke to Troup County Deputy Lt. Stewart Smith, who said they believed the inmates cut a hole through their dorm room ceiling, crawled through an air duct to get to the roof and shimmied down the drain pipe.
From there, surveillance footage and clues outside the jail show the rest of the story.
"We started looking at footprints and seeing where things led," Smith said. "They led to this pipe here and it appears they shimmied down this pipe.
Deputies say that from there, video shows the inmates take off running. The trail went cold at the main road, leading deputies to think someone picked them up.
"Our assumption is there was a vehicle waiting on them or more than likely, the track would have continued on even though it was that kind of far off," Smith said. "So our assumption is they may have picked up a ride."
According to Smith, that means the men may have been planning their escape for awhile.
Smith said the jail is reviewing their own security procedures to see how this happened and work to prevent it in the future.
"Immediately our chief deputy was reviewing plans, given our current layout," Smith said," and there are certainly going to be some changes made at this facility."
Stephanie Jeter was at the jail to visit a friend on the inside. She said she's concerned about her safety with two inmates on the loose, but admits she has to give them some credit.
"Actually in my opinion, that was very clever, you know, because for an inmate to go through all of that like that ... took at lot of thought."
People in the community weren't as impressed.
Linda Ford, who has family in LaGrange, said she can't believe the two men pulled it off.
"It just think it's awful that they allowed someone to escape," Ford said. "It had to be some help from somewhere."
Ford was worried for her family's safety.
"I'm concerned because like I said, my 87-year-old mother is here," Ford said. "My family is here."
Deputies do not consider the men particularly dangerous but they are warning residents to be careful if they see them.
Authorities are asking anyone who sees the men to contact Troup County 911.
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