Holmes County Jail Inmates Back in Custody

BONIFAY-- 4:07pm
Two escaped inmates in Holmes County are back in custody Wednesday night after escaping earlier that morning.

This isn't the first time one of them has tried to make a run for it.

Holmes County deputies were out all morning searching for two escaped inmates.

Jeffery Morrill and David Challender broke out of the Holmes County Jail around 12:40 a.m. Wednesday morning, but officials would not say exactly how they made their escape.

"We were able to keep this area contained. We kept pressure. Kept a perimeter maintained. Everybody working together. Called in some air units. Called in some marshals. Started an investigation trying to contact family."

With the help of U.S. marshals, the Bay County Sheriff's Department, and other agencies, Deputies captured Morrill about a mile from the jail around 3 a.m.

Once deputies found Morrill, they put all their effort into locating Challender. They began looking around the Holmes County Recycling Center, eventually finding him in a tire trailer. Right now officials have no idea if the two men have any connection.

Officers caught up with Challender around 9 a.m. Wednesday morning.

"Mr. Challender was being housed here by Bay County,” said Sheriff Tim Brown. “He is pending charges of homicide and other charges. Mr. Morrill, just been sentenced to 30 years in state prison system."

Once law enforcement officers found the men, they both gave up without a fight.

"They had been through some pretty rough country, its pretty treacherous swamps and thick brush, a lot of briars."

Earlier this month, Morrill tried to escape from the jail, but failed. No word on if he helped Challender escape this morning.

Challender is accused of helping murder 90 year-old Wallace Scott of Lynn Haven.

Officials say they'll likely file more charges against him and Morrill after Wednesday's escape.


UPDATE: Both inmates who escaped from the Holmes County Jail early Wednesday morning are now back in custody. Authorities say Jeffery Morrill and David Challender escaped around 12:40AM. Morrill was apprehended around 3AM, Challender was caught around 9AM. Challender is one of the suspects in the murder of 90-year-old Wallace Scott of Lynn Haven.

The Bay County Sheriff's Office, US Marshals and Florida Highway Patrol assisted the Holmes County Sheriff's Office in the search. Both men were captured in Bonifay. Challender was found in a tire trailer at the Holmes County recycling center. He is being held at the Holmes County Jail for the Bay County Sheriff's Office as he awaits trial for murder.

Both men escaped on foot. "They had been through some pretty rough country. Its pretty treacherous swamps and thick brush, a lot of briars, mud. These two are just some pretty dangerous individuals. So we take this very serious. The safety of the public and the citizens are foremost," said Michael Raley of the Holmes County Sheriff's Office.


UPDATE: WJHG has confirmed David Challender has now been caught.

Officials say Holmes County Deputies was found in a trailer at the Holmes County Recycling Center around 9am.

The Bay County Sheriff's Office, Holmes County Sheriff's Office, US Marshals, Jackson County Sheriff's Office, Dale County Sheriff's Office, Florida Department of Corrections, Florida Highway Patrol, and Washington County Sheriff's Office all assisted in the recapture.


At approximately 12:40am, 2 inmates, Jeffery Morrill and David Challender, escaped from custody at the Holmes County Jail.

Morrill was recently sentenced to 30 years in the Florida Department of Corrections.

Challender was being housed for Bay County Sheriff's Office while awaiting trial for murder, home theft and a state fugitive from Gwinnett County, Georgia.

Morrill was captured a short time later.

Challender is still at large and is to be considered dangerous.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of David Challender should contact the Holmes County Sheriff's Office at 850-547-4421 or Crime Stoppers at 1-866-689-8477


One inmate is still on the loose after authorities say two escaped from the Holmes County jail just before 1am Wednesday morning. Authorities say they believe one of the inmates may have run into a wooded area. The second one was apprehended just before 5am. Bay County deputies are also assisting in the search with a helicopter in the sky. They are not releasing identities at this time. We'll keep you updated with the latest information.