Skip to main content

Accomplice helped convicted murderers escape, Arizona authorities say

By the CNN Wire Staff
Click to play
3 killers escape from Arizona prison
  • NEW: Inmates may have split up
  • Police are on the hunt for the trio, considered armed and dangerous
  • They are traveling with a woman who helped them escape
  • They abducted two people at gunpoint and dropped them off at a truck stop

(CNN) -- Three convicted murderers who broke out of a Kingman, Arizona, prison got some help from a female accomplice who was on a visitation list for one of them, authorities said Saturday.

The three, described as armed and dangerous, may well be out of state or on their way to Mexico, a corrections official told CNN.

The Arizona Department of Corrections and the Flagstaff police said Saturday that the three disappeared from the medium-security Arizona State Prison-Kingman.

State, federal and local authorities are searching for the men, who were discovered missing after the 9:45 p.m. count Friday at the privately-operated facility. The escapees cut a hole in the fence, authorities said. A helicopter and dogs began a search.

All three were serving time on murder convictions and may no longer be traveling together, authorities said.

Two of the inmates and the accomplice later abducted two truck drivers on Interstate 40 outside of Kingman and hijacked their 18-wheeler, according to the Mohave County Sheriff's Department in Kingman. They released them and the rig five hours later in Flagstaff, about 135 miles to the east.

"We have to take every eventuality into consideration unless we have a definitive trail," said Charles Flanagan, deputy director of the Arizona Department of Corrections. "We know they have a vehicle."

Flanagan told CNN that authorities are making contact with the inmates' families.

The three escaped inmates are: Tracy Province, a 42-year-old white man who is 6 feet 1 inches tall and weighs 184 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes; Daniel Renwick, a 36-year-old white man who is 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs 190 pounds with brown hair and hazel eyes; and John McCluskey, a 45-year-old white man who is 6 feet 1 inches tall and weighs 160 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes.

Province is serving a life sentence for murder and armed robbery. Renwick is serving 22 years for second-degree murder and McCluskey is serving 15 years for second-degree murder and other charges.

The suspected accmpolice was identified as 43-year-old Casslyn Mae Welch, who is 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighs 135 pounds with brown hair and green eyes. Flanagan said she was on the visitation list for one of the inmates.

Welch, of Mesa, was seen at the prison driving a 1996 Chrysler Concord four-door sedan prior to the incident, the Mohave Sheriff's Department said. The blue car has a faded hood and roof with an Arizona registration ABL7584. The suspects may still be using the vehicle, the department said later Saturday.

The department said Province was last seen wearing dark blue jeans, a dark purple polo shirt with a red stripe and white tennis shoes. McCluskey had light blue jeans, a white button-up shirt with horizontal and vertical blue stripes and white tennis shoes.