MADISON, Ga. (AP) – The FBI is rolling out what it calls “a significant media effort” including “a nationwide billboard campaign” to appeal for help from the public in tracking down two inmates sought in the killings of their guards on a Georgia prison bus.
Agent David LeValley, who runs the FBI’s Atlanta office, says the billboards will offer specifics about a reward, now up to $130,000, and a nationwide tip line for the case, at the number 877-926-8332.
LeValley stresses that the reward is for information leading to an arrest. He says “We do not offer rewards for someone to be brought in dead or alive.”
The fugitives – 43-year-old Donnie Russell Rowe and 24-year-old Ricky Dubose – are believed to have stolen a white Ford F250 pickup truck with the Georgia tag BCX-5372 around midnight Tuesday in Madison, Georgia.
Authorities say the reward has increased to $130,000 for information leading to the arrest of two escaped Georgia inmates wanted for killing two prison guards.
Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills said law enforcement agencies in Georgia and beyond are conducting “the greatest effort I have ever seen” to hunt the fugitives – 43-year-old Donnie Russell Rowe and 24-year-old Ricky Dubose.
Authorities say the men overpowered two guards on a prison transport bus Tuesday and grabbed their guns. Sgt. Christopher Monica and Sgt. Curtis Billue were fatally shot.
Sills says it’s possible the escapees may have fled Georgia after three days on the run. David LeValley, agent in charge of the FBI’s Atlanta office, told reporters that “we are expanding, not shrinking, our effort to find these individuals.”
Funeral arrangements have been made for one of two prison guards killed when two Georgia inmates escaped from a prison transfer bus this week.
The Williams Funeral Home & Crematory website shows that the service for 42-year-old Sgt. Christopher Monica will take place at 2 p.m. next Tuesday at First United Methodist Church in Milledgeville. Burial will follow in Heritage Memorial Park.
Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills says inmates 43-year-old Donnie Russell Rowe and 24-year-old Ricky Dubose are accused of killing Monica and 58-year-old Sgt. Curtis Billue early Tuesday. The manhunt for both inmates continues into its third day Thursday.
Monica and Billue were officers at the Baldwin State Prison.
The website states that Monica was a Chicago native and had lived in Baldwin County for the past 20 years.
The search for two Georgia inmates sought in the killing of their guards during an escape from a prison bus went into its third day Thursday and the scope of the manhunt is expanding.
Authorities do not know whether Donnie Rowe and Ricky Dubose are still in Georgia or still traveling together, Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills told reporters Wednesday.
“They’ve certainly had time to get out of the state,” Sills said.
Sills said the two inmates overpowered and killed Sgt. Christopher Monica and Sgt. Curtis Billue early Tuesday on a bus that should have been secured as it carried inmates between prisons. He said the two then carjacked a driver who pulled up behind the bus and fled in his Honda Civic down state Highway 16 in Putnam County, southeast of Atlanta.