Howard County inmate escapes from jail

Authorities searching for 21-year-old Walter Estay

POSTED: 01:57 PM CDT Jul 15, 2013    UPDATED: 05:30 PM CDT Jul 15, 2013 
Walter Estay
HOWARD COUNTY, Mo. -

An inmate is on the run Monday after escaping from the Howard County Jail.

According to the Sheriff's Department, 21-year-old Walter Estay escaped the jail around 1 a.m. Monday.

The Howard County Sheriff says Estay was able to lock the only jailer in a room, while he took the jailer's cellphone and jail keys. Jail employees returned at 8 a.m. for the next shift and found the jailer locked in, meaning Estay had a nearly seven-hour lead on authorities.

Estay is described as a black male, 5 feet 8 inches tall, and 130 lbs. He was last seen wearing black shirt and black pants.

The Sheriff's Department says he may be driving a stolen Toyota RAV4 with the license plate MG1 P9F.

Court records show Estay was being held in the Howard County jail for first-degree tampering with a motor vehicle.

He was also sentenced under a year in jail for second-degree tampering with a motor vehicle and to four years' probation for first-degree robbery in Jackson County.

Authorities are asking anyone who may have seen Estay to call local police or the Howard County Sheriff's Department at 660-248-2477.