Henderson police say body recovered from Ohio River belonged to prison escapee

May 24, 2023 | 8:24 pm

Updated May 28, 2023 | 5:17 pm

Bradley Gillespie

Update, 4:50 p.m. May 28 — The Henderson Police Department announced that preliminary reports confirm a body located in the Ohio River on Sunday belongs to Bradley Gillespie, a convicted murderer who was on the run after he escaped from an Ohio prison last week.

Police said an autopsy will be conducted Tuesday.

May 24 — Authorities are still searching for a convicted murderer who escaped an Ohio prison on Tuesday. While the man is suspected to be in the tri-state area, Sheriff Brad Youngman said there is no reason thus far to believe the suspect is in Daviess County — but said residents should stay vigilant and be aware of what the man looks like. 

According to national and local news outlets, two men — James Lee, 47, and Bradley Gillespie, 50 — were reported missing from the Allen Oakwood Correctional Institution in Lima, Ohio on Tuesday.

Authorities have said a vehicle chase began around 3:15 a.m. Wednesday in Henderson after officers spotted a vehicle the men were believed to be traveling in. 

Henderson Police Department said in a social media post, “Law enforcement attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the vehicle in the 2200 block of US Hwy 41 North. The vehicle immediately fled from officers. A short vehicle pursuit occurred which led to the suspects wrecking into a privacy fence on Camaro Court. James Lee and Bradley Gillespie fled on foot. James Lee, the driver, was immediately apprehended. Bradley Gillespie was not apprehended. A shoe Bradley Gillespie was wearing was located two streets from the location of the vehicle. 

Gillespie was serving a sentence for a double-homicide conviction in 2016. 

“Bradley Gillespie has a history of dangerous, violent crimes. At this time, we believe Bradley Gillespie should be considered a danger to the public and assume he is armed with a weapon,” the HPD statement reads.

HPD described Gillespie as a “white male, 6’0”, 200 lbs, balding with facial hair. He was last seen wearing a dark colored shirt and pants.”

Gillespie is considered dangerous and possibly armed. Residents should contact 911 immediately if Gillespie is seen.

Daviess County Sheriff Brad Youngman said his department is following the news out of Henderson closely. He has been in contact throughout the day with Henderson Police Chief Sean McKinney, Henderson County Sheriff Chip Stauffer, and KSP Post 16 Commander Captain Brenton Ford and has offered DCSO manpower and resources should they be needed. 

“At this time there is no reason to believe that the suspect is in Daviess County and no reason to be alarmed,” he said. “Daviess Countians should familiarize themselves with Gillespie’s appearance and follow the media for updates in case it is determined he was able to leave the area.”

May 24, 2023 | 8:24 pm

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