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Muskogee citizens, ranchers on edge as escapee remains on the run

Posted at 10:49 PM, May 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-31 00:43:17-04

MUSKOGEE, Okla. -- Neighbors and ranchers who live near a prison in Muskogee County are on edge because a dangerous convicted felon is on the loose from a state facility for two days now.

The inmate, Mark Riffey, walked off the grounds Monday while he was beyond the prison walls, mowing grass.

So how did this man convicted of rape, kidnapping, child abuse and assault and battery on a police officer get placed in a minimum security prison?

In a story you saw only on 2 Works for You, Tony Russell explained it all.

"Well, everybody is on pins and needles and concerned," said Bill Inhofe, a Muskogee County rancher. "You never know when you'll walk up on somebody, go in your barn or get in your truck and somebody be there."

Inhofe, who runs roughly 900 head of cattle west of Muskogee has dealt with escapes from the Jess Dunn Correctional Facility before.

Back in March, the Department of Corrections reported Todd Hicks left the same prison, but was captured days later at a home in Okmulgee County.

"It concerned me because it was actually the next day after that it happened that night and we've talked to DOC since then; we got a little better communication," said Inhofe.

The minimum security prison from which Riffey escaped butts right up to one of Inhofe's pastures.

"I don't worry as much about myself as I do my kids and my family what would happen to them," Inhofe said.

Muskogee County Sheriff's deputies are working to help prison guards find Riffey.

"It is concerning as a sheriff, as a citizen and as a father to know that there's a guy running around that has these serious charges, and is still running around in our county possibly," said Sheriff Rob Frazier.

A DOC spokesperson says prisoners like Riffey get placed in minimum security facilities because of good behavior.

Law enforcement wants neighbors to remain vigilant.

"Don't give these escapees any easy target to steal or come in your house and we are...we're doing all that we can, but there's only so much that we can do as a sheriff's office when this is a state DOC facility that he left from," said Frazier.

If you see Riffey, you're urged to call 9-1-1.


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