Georgia inmate digs through wall, escapes 'Shawshank' style - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Georgia inmate digs through wall, escapes 'Shawshank' style

Copeland (left) dug a hole in the wall to escape. (Source: Clinch Co. Sheriff's Office/WALB) Copeland (left) dug a hole in the wall to escape. (Source: Clinch Co. Sheriff's Office/WALB)
Michael Chance Copeland (Source: Clinch Co. Sheriff's Office) Michael Chance Copeland (Source: Clinch Co. Sheriff's Office)
Brick chiseled in Copeland's cell. (Source: WALB) Brick chiseled in Copeland's cell. (Source: WALB)
A view of the ceiling Copeland crawled through. (Source: WALB) A view of the ceiling Copeland crawled through. (Source: WALB)
CLINCH CO., GA (WALB) -

Authorities are searching for an escaped inmate who got away by breaking through the wall in his cell.

Officials said Michael Chance Copeland, 31, escaped from the Clinch Co. Jail during the late evening to early morning hours of June 13th.

They said he chipped away at a cement block and went into the ceiling.

"He come out through the ceiling, fell in the sheriff's office, and went out the back door," said Clinch County Sheriff Winston Peterson.

And officers said it just looked like he was sleeping.

"He put clothes and other stuff up under a sheet where it would look like he was laying under there with his head covered up," explained Peterson.

Law enforcement said they haven't found the tools Copeland used and they aren't sure where he got them.

"Nothing was found in the cell with him," said Peterson.

Officials reviewed surveillance footage of two employees who were working.

They were both in the office which is separated by a wall, which officials said could be why they never heard Copeland. 

"If they'd had the door to the office open, yes, they could've heard him, but they didn't," said Peterson.

One of them is now suspended for not checking on the inmates properly, the second was new on the job. 

The sheriff's office said they are more concerned that the inmate was able to climb through the inside of the building. 

Peterson said he does not think Copeland is a threat to the community.

Copeland has a history of drug use and jail time, and could be in Lowndes County.

Officials are still looking for him.

Anyone with information is urged to contact authorities.

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