Wednesday, February 1, 2012
An escaped Berkeley County inmate has avoided capture after being spotted in the Sangaree area late Wednesday afternoon.
For a few hours, it appeared that the luck of escaped inmate James Sanders had run out.
After a sighting of Sanders was phoned into the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office, the BCSO, along with Charleston and Dorchester County law enforcement, sent search teams to the area to begin an hours-long search that is still continuing.
“We got a call from a business on Farmington Road that had spotted him,” BCSO spokesperson Dan Moon said. “We fanned out and set perimeters, and set the (tracking dogs) on the trail.”
Several other sightings of Sanders were reported as the search continued.
“We eventually wound up going across the Interstate,” Moon said. “We had a sighting over there from somebody. We had some dog teams there on the side of the Interstate.”
At 10:40 p.m., Moon said that search units were still on the ground looking for Sanders but that the majority of the units had been called off.
“We haven’t been able to locate him and find him,” Moon said. “We don’t know whether he managed to slip out of the area early on … we have just search and searched and searched, and haven’t been able to apprehend him yet.”
Moon said the BCSO feels confident in the initial sighting of Sanders, who is free after slipping out of the Hill-Finklea Detention Center last week.
Sanders was wearing a grey, hooded sweatshirt with a red shirt underneath and blue jeans, according to Moon. He had also shaved his goatee, according to witnesses.
Several officials expressed surprise that Sanders was back in the area. “The guy doesn’t have any money, as far as we know,” Moon said.
James Sanders, 39, a white male who stands 5'7" and has dark hair, is considered dangerous, according to the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office.
Anyone with information regarding Sanders’ location is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at (843) 719-4412, or simply call 911.