Deputies search for escapee
By By Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
April 24, 2001
Investigators are searching for an accused burglar who broke out of the county jail Monday, according to Lauderdale County Sheriff Billy Sollie.
Derek Houston, 21, climbed a wall in the jail's visitation room about 7:30 p.m., breaking through an air conditioning vent and a portion of the ceiling, Sollie said. Houston had been jailed March 7 on two burglary charges.
In connection with the incident, Sollie said investigators are looking into the work performance of some county correctional officers. Clothes were provided to Houston, but investigators are not sure by whom. A woman was questioned Monday evening in connection with the escape, he said.
Sollie said several visitors were present when Houston broke through the ceiling, but no one reported the incident, and Houston was able to slip past correctional officers.
Additional deputies were called in Monday to search for Houston. At press time today, investigators had no idea where he might be.
Houston should be considered dangerous as with any escapee who is evading capture, Sollie said.
Persons with information should call CrimeStoppers at 490-2746 and anyone who spots Houston should call 911 immediately.
Marianne Todd is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551, ext. 3236, or e-mail her at mtodd@