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Search continues for two of three escaped convicts from Arizona

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Trucker: 'Glad we are still alive'
  • Corrections director blames escape on security at prison
  • Authorities say female accomplice threw cutting tools over fence
  • Daniel Renwick, serving 22 years for murder, was captured after shootout Sunday

(CNN) -- A nationwide manhunt continued late Monday for two of three "dangerous" inmates who escaped last week from an Arizona prison.

Tracy Province and John McCluskey were still on the loose Monday night after fleeing an Arizona prison Friday, said Charles Ryan, the director of the state's Department of Corrections.

Province, 42, was serving a life sentence for murder and armed robbery. McCluskey, 45, was serving 15 years for attempted second-degree murder and other charges.

Ryan blamed the escape on problems with security at the prison, which is owned by a private company.

"The staff at this private prison were lax in performing their duties," said Ryan. "It appears staff performance was the issue."

Province, McCluskey and a third inmate, Daniel Renwick, were aided in the escape by a female accomplice who threw cutting tools over the fence of the prison, Ryan said.

Renwick was captured Sunday, in Colorado after getting in a shootout with authorities.

Renwick has been questioned and gave some information that may aid in the search for the two missing inmates and the woman, Ryan said.

The suspected accomplice was identified as 43-year-old Casslyn Mae Welch.

After their escape, the inmates and the accomplice abducted two truck drivers at gunpoint on Interstate 40 outside of Kingman, Arizona, and hijacked their 18-wheeler, according to the Mohave County sheriff's department in Kingman, Arizona. The truck drivers and the rig were released five hours later in Flagstaff, Arizona, about 135 miles to the east.

One of the truck drivers spoke about it later.

"They said, 'If you guys are nice to us, we will be nice to you. If you do anything, we will shoot you,' " said Prabhjeet Bains. "Every time he looked at me, I thought he was going to shoot me, so I'm glad we are still alive."

The fugitives were later believed to be driving a 2002 silver Volkswagon Jetta, purchased Saturday in west Phoenix.

They were later spotted on a security camera in a bank inside a grocery store in Goodyear, Arizona, according to Barrett Marson, spokesman for the Arizona Department of Corrections.

The suspects are considered armed and dangerous, Ryan said.