GAINESVILLE - Hall County authorities continue to search for two inmates who failed to return to jail after they went to work as part of the Hall County Work Release program.
Sheriff's Sgt. Stephen Wilbanks said Joseph Dale McAllister, 38, of Cleveland and Randall Darryl Ladd, 35, of Gainesville went to a landscaping job on Wedenesday, September 18. Both had been jailed on probation violations and were not considered a threat to the public, according to Wilbanks.
Sunday around noon, Hall County Sheriff's deputies were called to Ponderosa Farm Road in south Hall County because residents had spotted two suspicious men in the area. One of the men reportedly was going door to door because his vehicle had run out of gas.
Wilbanks said when deputies arrived, one of the men fled; he said the other was not in the area. When deputies checked the vehicle registration, they discovered it belonged to one of the suspects who had failed to return to Work Release.
"The sheriff's K9 teams, also supported by the Georgia State Patrol Aviation Unit, reported to the area and conducted a lengthy search - approximately four hours," said Wilbanks.
He said authorities were unable to find McAllister and Ladd.
Wilbanks said the two now face felony charges of escape.
"Technically, this charge is escape, even though this is not escape in the traditional sense of the word where they actually had to break out of a structure," said Wilbanks.
Wilbanks said investigators welcome tips from the public as they continue their search. An online tip line is linked below.