PICKENS — James Christopher Townsend remains the focus of a manhunt by the Pickens County Sheriff’s Department following his escape from the Pickens County stockade July 3 and authorities are seeking the public’s help.
“At this point he (Townsend) hasn’t been located in Pickens County and we have worked all of the leads that have been generated,” PCSD Chief Deputy Creed Hashe said. “Within the first 72 hours we got six or seven good leads on where he might be or where he was spotted and none of those have worked out.”
While PCSD does not administrate or handle the operations of the stockade whenever there is an escape it falls within their purview to capture the escapee. In this instance, Townsend has so far eluded capture and the public’s assistance is needed.
“Eventually someone will spot him and we will get the lead we need to bring him into custody and that’s going to come from someone making a phone call,” Hashe explained. “Any tip that’s phoned in is anonymous and will be treated as such.”
Townsend was in the stockade for failure to pay child support and was scheduled for a December 2014 release when he walked off a work detail on the facility’s grounds July 3. Although he is not considered armed and dangerous by PCSD they do urge caution.
“If there’s anyone who sees or spots Townsend, they should call it in and not try to engage him in any way,” Hashe went on to say. “They should contact authorities and at the most keep a visual contact. When officers arrive on the scene they’ll determine if it’s the right person and handle the situation.”
While on the loose, PCSD will continue to follow the steps necessary to continue the search.
“In the initial stages we establish who any previous associates are, relatives, family members, and friends,” Hashe said. “We try to determine anyone he might go to for food and shelter and while he’s on the loose we’ll continue to monitor those contacts.”
Should the public have any information as to the whereabouts of Townsend, Hashe urges them to call the PCSD at 864-898-5500.