Funeral set for one of the correctional officers killed in inmates escape

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ATLANTA, Ga. (AP) — Funeral arrangements have been made for one of two correctional officers killed when two Georgia inmates escaped from a prison transfer bus this week.

The Williams Funeral Home & Crematory website shows the service for 42-year-old Sgt. Christopher Monica will take place at 2 p.m. next Tuesday at First United Methodist Church in Milledgeville. Burial will follow in Heritage Memorial Park.

Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills says inmates 43-year-old Donnie Russell Rowe and 24-year-old Ricky Dubose are accused of killing Monica and 58-year-old Sgt. Curtis Billue early Tuesday. Monica and Billue were officers at the Baldwin State Prison.

Sills says the two inmates overpowered and killed Sgt. Monica and Sgt. Billue on a bus that should have been secured as it carried inmates between prisons. He says the two then carjacked a driver who pulled up behind the bus and fled in his Honda Civic down state Highway 16 in Putnam County, southeast of Atlanta.

The stolen car was later found hidden in the woods 25 miles north of Madison near a home that police also believe the fugitives broke into Tuesday morning. The search for Rowe and Dubose continues into its third day Thursday as authorities now believe the two are in a white pickup truck they stole from an industrial site.

Sills says it is unclear if the escapees are still traveling together and where they may be.

“They’ve certainly had time to get out of the state,” Sills says at a press conference Wednesday.

The GBI confirms a $115,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the fugitives’ arrests. Sheriff Sills says multiple agencies made “significant contributions” to boost the reward.

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