Authorities Search For Man Who Escaped Custody In Union County

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Authorities were searching for a parolee who escaped from the back of a probation officer’s cruiser.

Karl Keeton, 24, was in custody in the back of a cruiser when deputies say he somehow slipped out of the handcuffs and escaped.

Parole officers had left him alone in the car while they searched a Magnetic Springs home where he was living.

Search crews including officers on the ground, K9 and river boats searched for the suspect for nearly six hours Wednesday.

Authorities said that flooding hampered their search as well as the ability for the K9 to do its job.

Keeton was wearing an ankle bracelet, according to deputies but at some point took it off and fled into the woods after he escaped form the cruiser.

Mike Martin saw the man escape.

“I saw him bolt from the side of the car and he took off into the woods. He was wearing shorts and no shoes,” he said.

Searchers thought they had a lead on the suspect around 5 p.m. when they received a GPS location from his ankle bracelet, but Keeton was not found.

We're told he was on house arrest and wanted on a parole violation.

Police are now asking the public’s help to catch the suspect who has a record that includes domestic violence and robbery.

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