Escaped Tompkins County inmate captured in Ithaca

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ITHACA, N.Y. (WETM) – Escaped Tompkins County inmate Jeffrey Cornell has been captured after fleeing from the county jail during a Monday evening work detail.

On Nov. 30 at about 11:47 AM, members of the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office and Ithaca Police Department responded to the area of W. State Street in the City of Ithaca for a reported sighting of Cornell, who’d escaped around 6:45 p.m. on Monday night.

At 1:10 PM, Cornell was taken into custody without incident for second-degree escape and was processed.

Cornell was serving a sentence in jail for DWI, with additional charges pending, including Criminal Mischief 4th, Aggravated Criminal Contempt 1st, and Assault 3rd.

The Sheriff’s Office says Cornell was working as a “trustee” with a work detail that included kitchen work and cleaning duties when an officer took him to a dumpster outside of the jail and Cornell ran.

A Swift 911 alert was originally issued for neighborhoods near the Sheriff’s office, but those have now been lifted. The last witness sighting of Cornell was within the area of Queen Street.

Police called off the search around 11:30 p.m. on Monday after “witness accounts and tracking efforts led searchers into the City of Ithaca where all ability to further track Cornell was lost.”

The sheriff’s office says an investigation into the incident will be conducted in conjunction with the NYS Commission of Correction. 

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