Police investigating the escape of two inmates from the Monroe County Jail in downtown Rochester said leads have been coming in from out of state.
36-year-old Eddie Palmer and 34-year-old Joseph Lee Mitchell have been identified by police as the two inmates that have escaped. Police said the two were cellmates.
According to police, the two escaped at 8:10 p.m. Thursday. Police said that jail officials began an exterior and interior search of the jail based on some suspicious activity outside.
According to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, jail officials did a head count, and found that two inmates were missing.
Also missing: A cell bar on a window, which had been removed. The glass on the window had also been broken.
“That we still don’t have a firm handle on yet,” said Major Steve Kostler with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office when asked how the bar was removed. “We have some suspicions, but until we get technicians involved and get some experts to look into the structure, we don’t know yet.”
The window was on the second story of the building, and from there, it's a 20 foot drop to the ground. Police said there is no evidence that either Palmer or Mitchell were injured.
Palmer was in jail for criminal possession of stolen property totaling more than $1,000. Sheriff's Office records indicate Palmer has been in the county jail since June of last year.
Mitchell was being held in the Monroe County Jail awaiting trial. Sheriff's Office records indicate he was booked in late January.
“We don’t consider them to be violent people or harmful people, but we will treat them now because of what occurred as armed and dangerous fugitives,” said Kostler.
The Monroe County Sheriff's Department reported that there will be no public visitations allowed at the Monroe County Jail on Friday after two inmates escaped Thursday night.
Police said that Thursday was a routine day inside the jail. No public visitation was allowed on Friday.
Law enforcement agencies around the country have been alerted about Palmer and Mitchell. One of the men is believed to have connections in Arizona or California.
“They are out, they know they are wanted, they are on the run,” said Kostler. “I would be concerned, and that’s why if I saw anyone who resembled the photos you have, just call 911 and they’ll send the patrols over.”