Woman escapes deputy custody

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Authorities are searching for an Ellsinore woman who allegedly escaped Thursday morning from the custody of a Carter County deputy as she was being released from Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center.

After her arrest at about 6:35 a.m., Samantha Jo Freeze, 33, was taken by ambulance to the Poplar Bluff hospital after she complained of injuries from a previous incident, explained Carter County Sheriff Rick Stephens.

About four hours later, Freeze reportedly was “cleared medically,” and a deputy was there to take her into custody.

“When she got checked out and was getting ready to be released and sign the paperwork, she ran from the deputy,” Stephens said. “She took off into the woods from the hospital.”

Officers with the Carter County Sheriff’s Department, Butler County Sheriff’s Department and Poplar Bluff Police Department initiated a search for Freeze.

A Poplar Bluff School District official reported Thursday afternoon that precautions were taken at the kindergarten center, but it was not on lock down.

Authorities report Freeze was last seen wearing blue jeans with holes in the knees and on the back of the legs, and a red hoodie.

The red hoodie reportedly was one of several layers Freeze was wearing. She also had a heavy gray coat.

“She may have taken off the hoodie; there was one report she was wearing a white top,” Stephens said.

Freeze is described as 5 feet 5 inches tall, weighing about 135 pounds, with blue eyes and brown hair.

Freeze, according to the sheriff, was arrested after a deputy responded to a report of a careless and imprudent driver.

“They had picked her up for careless driving” and a records’ check “revealed there were warrants,” Stephens said.

Freeze, who was arrested near the LeerJak Travel Center at Ellsinore, had two warrants for probation through Wright County. Her original charges were for the felonies of stealing and receiving stolen property.

Anyone with information about Freeze’s whereabouts is asked to call the Carter County Sheriff’s Department at 573-323-4510 or the nearest law enforcement agency.

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