A prisoner with a long history of violent crime turned up missing Friday after a 3:30 p.m. headcount at Dade Correctional Institution, a state prison that has been plagued by mismanagement and allegations of corruption and the abuse of mentally ill inmates by corrections officers.
It's not clear when or how Ronald McCoy, who was serving life, slipped away, two sources at the prison told the Herald. The prison is located South of Homestead.
Local police and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement were called to help with a search, taking place on a Halloween night filled with young trick-or-treaters. Police canines also were brought in.
There is a residential subdivision within a mile of the prison.
“The theory is he just walked out the back gate,” one source said.
McCoy, a 39-year-old who is serving life, has a lengthy record of robberies and assaults, frequently involving deadly weapons. The DOC website lists him as 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes, although his prison mugshot shows him with a shaven head.
He has a tattoo on his left arm that says bicep pysco, possibly a misspelling.
Sources said he was seen at the prison barber at 10:30 a.m. Friday, but had not been seen since roughly an hour after that.
The apparent escape was not immediately announced either by the prison or the Department of Corrections. Story here.