PICKENS — For the second time in less than six weeks, the Pickens County Stockade has had an inmate walk off from detention undetected with this second incident occurring on the stockade’s grounds.
The Pickens County Sheriff’s Department is involved in the manhunt for James Christopher Townsend, who disappeared during daylight hours while working on the facility grounds July 3. Townsend is described as 5 feet, 11 inches tall and weighing approximately 210 pounds with close cropped dark hair.
Although PCSD officials don’t believe Townsend is a danger, they are asking the public to not approach him but instead contact law enforcement.
Townsend had been incarcerated since June 2 for failure to pay child support. He was scheduled for release December 2014.
A SLED background check showed that Townsend has a lengthy record dating back to 1990, including resisting arrest, petit larceny, grand larceny, public drunkenness, multiple DUIs, accessory to felonies, felony grand larceny, receiving stolen goods, financial fraud and simple assault. He was given suspended sentences on many of the charges.
“It needs to be understood we do not administrate the stockade,” PCSD Chief Deputy Creed Hashe stated. “The facility falls under the Bureau of Prisons and we become involved in cases much like this one where an inmate has wandered off or escaped. We conduct the hunt for the prisoner.”
Townsend was last seen at the stockade at 2:30 p.m. and was discovered missing during a routine count at 7 p.m. that evening. Efforts to reach stockade officials were unsuccessful.