Mississippi Escaped Inmate Accused of Dumping Stolen Church Van in Lake Fork Arrested, 1 Still Missing

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An escaped inmate from Mississippi who is accused of dumping a church van used in the escape in Wood County’s Lake Fork has been arrested and is being held in Dallas County.

Tyler Payne, 31, was booked into Dallas County Jail early Tuesday morning and is being held on charges of aggravated robbery and failure to identify as a fugitive.

Dallas County records show that Payne is also being held on five other charges from Hinds County in Mississippi including:

  • Auto burglary
  • Business burglary
  • Church burglary
  • Motor vehicle taking
  • Escape from Raymond Detention Center, original charge armed carjacking

Payne and Traverro McElroy, 36, who officials said escaped with Payne from the detention center, allegedly stole a church van in Mississippi before driving it to Texas.

The Quitman Fire Department diver team found and recovered the van from Lake Fork, according to the Wood County Sheriff’s Office.

After the van’s recovery, officials in Wood County said they were working closely with the Texas Rangers and Hinds County Sheriff’s Office.

“Neither escapee has any ties to the Wood County area, however they do have ties in the Dallas/Fort Worth area,” Wood County officials said.

McElroy is described by officials as a Black man, 5’5″ tall and 120 pounds with dread style hair. He is considered armed and dangerous.

According to Wood County, McElroy had been incarcerated on a murder charge before his escape.

Should you have any information regarding the suspects please contact the authorities immediately.

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Author: Ethan Klein

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