Inmate escapes from NC Correctional Center

Published: Jul. 20, 2016 at 11:57 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 22, 2016 at 12:10 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - An inmate escaped from the New Hanover Correctional Center Wednesday morning.

Stephen Singleton, of Wilmington, was discovered missing after the 5 a.m. count and officials believe he scaled a fence to escape. The center's superintendent, James Holmes said they found a t-shirt draped over the barbed wire. They believe Singleton used it in his escape.

Singleton, 34, was serving sentences for habitual misdemeanor assault and larceny. He was due to be released in January 2018.

He's believed to still be in the Wilmington area, according to officials. Investigators are currently following up on possible leads to his whereabouts.

"We still have people out in the field checking address, interviewing people, following up on leads, whatever the case may be," said Holmes.

The minimum security facility does not have surveillance cameras or armed guards at the perimeter. They submitted a request for cameras a year ago. Holmes is hoping after this incident, they'll get approved.

"We can follow up and see if this helps us get cameras for the facility, I hope it will," he said.

Holmes said his staff followed escape procedure, and at this time none of the guards are facing disciplinary action.

Anyone who has information on Singleton's whereabouts is asked to call local law enforcement or New Hanover Correctional Center at 910-251-2666.

Keith Acree, spokesperson for the NC Department of Public Safety, said no one can recall an escape from the facility in many years.

The most recent incident involving an inmate at New Hanover Correctional Center happened in March, when an inmate walked away from his work-release job at a restaurant in Wilmington. He turned himself in several hours later.

In May 2008, a New Hanover Correctional inmate on an eight-man community work crew in Surf City walked off but was later found.

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