Authorities in Kansas have launched a manhunt after a “dangerous” sex offender escaped from a psychiatric hospital by shaving his beard and posing as a doctor.
The US Marshals Office warns that John Freeman Colt, 42, is a “clear threat” to public safety and offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to his capture.
Colt had been deemed a high risk offender after being jailed in 2001 for aggravated sexual battery and attempted rape. He was detained indefinitely at Larned State Hospital in Kansas.
Colt is suspected of planning his escape for months. On the morning of 30 June, he shaved his long hair and beard, and placed blankets under his bedsheets to make it appear he was still sleeping.
Using a fake staff ID badge, Colt convinced a new staff member that he was a doctor and needed help finding his way out.
He passed through five secured doors and the outer perimeter gates, and was not reported missing for several hours.
“John Colt presents a clear threat to the community every day he is not in custody,” said US Marshal Ronald Miller.
“He has been deemed a sexual predator, and the US Marshals consider his escape a major case and are devoting all available resources to his capture”.
Pawnee County Sheriff Scott King said that “everyone is working together to bring this individual back where he is supposed to be”.
The state of Kansas deemed Colt too dangerous to be let back into the community when he completed a five-year prison sentence. He was indefinitely committed to Larned State Hospital’s Sexual Predator Treatment Program in 2007.
Authorities believe Colt could be travelling in state or national parks in Colorado, Missouri, New Mexico, South Dakota, Texas or Utah.
Colt is described as 5 feet 7 inches (1.7m), weighs approximately 200 pounds (90kgs), has hazel eyes and brown hair. He has a tattoo of a heart with the letters BH on his left arm. He should be considered dangerous.
Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts is urged to contact local law enforcement, the USMS at 1-877-WANTED2 or send information to the US Marshals via the USMS Tips app.