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Florence escaped inmates: John Charpiot, David Harmon may be in hiding; $70K reward offered

Two inmates escape Florence prison John Charpiot and David Harmon
Posted at 6:20 AM, Jan 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-31 08:15:13-05

FLORENCE, AZ — Officials said Monday that it is possible that the two inmates who escaped Saturday from a state correctional facility in Florence -- John Charpiot and David Harmon -- may still be within several miles of the corrections facility, possibly holed up somewhere.

A reward of up to $35,000 is being offered for both inmates -- totaling $70,000 -- for information that leads to their capture, officials have said.

"We’re still looking at the area immediately surrounding the prison…and several miles outside the prison," said Colonel Heston Silbert, director of the Arizona Department of Public Safety, at the Monday afternoon press conference.

"The chief area of concern is this -- being that we haven’t received a great deal of information about the subjects this time, that they could be hold-up some place," he said. "If you as a resident in the area of the prison have noticed a neighbor hasn’t been around or noticed a co-worker hasn’t been at work for a period of time, and it’s something that’s out of the norm, we would ask you to please call."

Silbert added that Charpiot and Harmon have changed their appearances, such as their clothing and facial hair, and may not look like the photographs that were released. They are also considered to be dangerous, as they've "demonstrated they'll commit a violent act and escape."

People with information are asked to contact 911, local law enforcement, or Silent Witness, 480-WITNESS, should they want to remain anonymous.

Authorities held an update on the search for the two inmates Monday afternoon:

Charpiot and Harmon escaped from the Arizona State Prison Complex - Florence on Saturday, the Arizona Department of Corrections said. Florence is located south of Phoenix.

Charpiot was convicted of molestation of a child and sexual abuse and sentenced to 35 years. He entered the prison in 2011.

Harmon was convicted of kidnapping and second-degree burglary and sentenced to 100 years. He entered the prison in 2012.

Two inmates escape Florence prison John Charpiot and David Harmon
John Charpiot and David Harmon escaped from the Arizona Department of Corrections in Florence, Arizona on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021.

Silbert said law enforcement, which consists of multiple agencies, began door-to-door searches of homes on Sunday and were continuing to search homes on Monday.

Road blockages would also remain in place Monday, he said.

ADCRR said the inmates were not accounted for during the 8:30 p.m. count on Saturday, January 23. They were last accounted for at the 4 p.m. count.

Following the 8:30 p.m. check, staff initiated standard protocols for missing inmates, and a second count was conducted, which found the inmates still missing.

Officials said during a previous news conference that the inmates knocked down an A/C unit and broke through a wall to gain access to a prison tool shed, where they stole bolt cutters, wire snips, and other items that were used to cut through the facility's fencing and escape.

The missing items were found inside and outside the prison complex, officials said.

On Monday, officials said finding the inmates remains its top priority. An internal investigation has also been launched to look at how the inmates obtained the tools to escape and were able to escape.

The search involves multiple agencies.