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Mississippi jail escapee found dead in New Orleans as search continues for one more on the loose

<i>Hinds County Sheriff's Office</i><br/>The body of Casey Grayson
Hinds County Sheriff's Office
Hinds County Sheriff's Office
The body of Casey Grayson

By Sara Smart and Emma Tucker, CNN

A man who escaped from a Mississippi jail last month with three others has been found dead in New Orleans, a sheriff said Tuesday, leaving just one of the four apparently still on the run.

The body of Casey Grayson, 34, was found in a vehicle at a truck stop on Sunday, according to a tweet from Tyree Jones, sheriff of Mississippi’s Hinds County. Grayson’s cause of death has not yet been determined, Jones added.

That leaves Corey Harrison, 22, as the last man authorities are searching for among the four who authorities said escaped Mississippi’s Raymond Detention Center outside Jackson around the night of April 22.

For the other two: Dylan Arrington — a 22-year-old accused of killing a Mississippi pastor while on the run April 24 — was found dead in a burned Mississippi home April 26 after a standoff with law enforcement, authorities said. And Jerry Raynes, 51, was arrested April 27 in Texas, authorities said.

Arrington, Grayson, Harrison and Raynes were reported missing from the Raymond jail, located about 15 miles west of downtown Jackson, after a routine head count around 12:30 a.m. on April 23, Jones has said.

How authorities say the escape unfolded

After the jail was placed on lockdown, staff found two breaches inside the facility — one in a cell and another in the roof, Jones has said. Authorities believe the group climbed onto the roof around 8:30 p.m. April 22, camped there, and left the property at different times, he said.

Prior to the escape, Raynes was being held on charges of auto theft and business burglary, the Hinds County Sheriff’s Office said. Arrington had been charged with auto theft and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, while Grayson was being held on charges of grand larceny and sale of a controlled substance, according to the office. Harrison was facing a charge of receiving stolen property before the escape, officials said.

Investigators believe Arrington shot and killed the pastor in Jackson, Mississippi, on April 24, and then stole the pastor’s truck and drove away, Hinds County authorities said. The victim was identified by authorities and a church associate as the Rev. Anthony Watts of the St. Mary Missionary Baptist Church.

On April 25, authorities in Mississippi’s Leake County said they had received reports that one of the escapees, whom they later identified as Arrington, had been spotted in the area.

The next morning, Leake County Sheriff Randy Atkinson and an investigator responded to a Carthage home where the escapee was suspected to be hiding, but had to take cover as the suspect began to fire at them from inside, Atkinson said. The investigator was struck in the leg and transported to a hospital.

As other law enforcement officers responded to the scene, the suspect continued to shoot, Atkinson said. At some point during the two-hour standoff, the home began to smoke. Arrington’s body was later found in the burned home, about 70 miles northeast of the detention center, and his cause of death is under investigation, Jones has said.

Raynes was captured in Spring Valley, Texas, on April 27, Jones has said. A truck investigators believe was stolen by Raynes also was recovered in Texas, authorities said.

“Raynes will be held facing extradition” back to Mississippi, Jones said last week.

Raynes waived extradition on Friday, his attorney John Duong told CNN that day. Hinds County had 14 days to get Raynes, or the issue will be revisited in court, Duong said Friday.

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CNN’s Amy Simonson, Holly Yan, Elizabeth Wolfe, Devon M. Sayers and Alta Spells contributed to this report.

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