Deputies search for escaped murder suspect

Published: Jun. 8, 2016 at 11:19 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 9, 2016 at 4:19 AM EDT
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BEN HILL CO., GA (WALB) - An intense manhunt continued into the early morning hours on Thursday in Ben Hill County for accused murderer Earnest Holcomb.

He escaped from the Ben Hill County Jail late Wednesday afternoon. Hours later, nearly 30 officers from multiple agencies were searching for him. Federal marshals, officers and deputies from adjacent communities, and K-9 units from Valdosta State Prison joined the Ben Hill County Sheriff's Office in the search.

Holcomb is one of seven suspects charged with murdering Craigory Burch during a home invasion in January. Late last year, Burch won a lottery jackpot of more than $400,000, and investigators believe the suspects were after his money.

Holcomb was last seen in the jail around 3:20 p.m. and likely escaped after 5:00 p.m. when he got onto the jail's roof and jumped off. Sheriff Bobby McLemore says no surveillance video shows how Holcomb got on the roof, but deputies found his pink jumpsuit there.

One tipster reported seeing him in jeans and a t-shirt walking near the Burger King not far away.

Holcomb is 28 years-old. He's 5'9" and 150 lbs. If you have any information about him, you should call the Ben Hill County Sheriff's Office or 911.

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