Inmate escaped by switching ID bracelets and clothing - KPTV - FOX 12

Inmate escaped by switching ID bracelets and clothing

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Investigators now say Michael Johnson changed ID bracelets and clothes with another inmate at the Clark County Jail Thursday morning, allowing him to walk right out of the jail. (Clark Co. Sheriff’s Office) Investigators now say Michael Johnson changed ID bracelets and clothes with another inmate at the Clark County Jail Thursday morning, allowing him to walk right out of the jail. (Clark Co. Sheriff’s Office)
VANCOUVER, WA (KPTV) -

The search continues for an inmate who escaped from the Clark County Jail Thursday, and officials are now sharing exactly how he fooled deputies.

Michael Johnson was serving 24 years in an Arizona prison for kidnapping and assault. He was brought to Clark County last month to stand trial for threatening to kill his sister and ex-girlfriend.

But at 8:30 am Thursday, Johnson walked out of the jail by himself. No one stopped him because they thought he was someone else.

Jail officials said Johnson switched ID bracelets with another inmate who was scheduled for release. The men switched cells, and Johnson even put on his clothing and signed his name when he left.

A woman who has known Johnson for half of his life and only wants to be known as “Renee” can’t believe the jail staff let it all happen.

"Clark County needs to pay for this mistake. This is a huge mistake,” she said. “They’ve put everybody at risk for when he does get captured. This is going to be a problem. It’s not going to be pretty. It’s going to be a big, ugly mess.”

While detectives and the U.S. Marshal’s Office search for Johnson, jail officials are making changes. They said they’re six weeks away from implementing a biometrics screening tool that collects fingerprints when an inmate is booked and matches them when they’re released.

Investigators are asking anyone that sees Johnson or knows anything about his whereabouts to call 911.

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