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The work release inmate who went missing after being rescued from candle factory in Kentucky that collapsed in a tornado has turned himself in, officials say


By Andy Rose, CNN

A work release inmate who went missing after being rescued from a Kentucky candle factory that collapsed during deadly tornadoes Friday night has turned himself in to the Calloway County Jail, Kentucky State Police said on Facebook.

The jail is about 25 miles from Mayfield, where Francisco Starks, 44, was treated at a hospital after being rescued from the Mayfield Consumer Products building, troopers said in a previous news release.

At least 50 tornadoes were reported in eight states overnight Friday into Saturday, including Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee and Mississippi. Officials fear the death toll could top 100.

After his release from the hospital, Starks allegedly walked away instead of reporting to continue his sentence, the news release said.

Starks was serving time for third-degree burglary, theft by unlawful taking of an automobile and receiving stolen property, according to the news release.

Graves County jailer George Workman told CNN on Saturday that seven inmates were working at the candle factory when a tornado destroyed the facility and a deputy who was with them was killed.

The work-release program for low-security, low-level offenders had just started last week, Workman said.

Kyanna Parsons-Perez, who was trapped under at least 5 feet of debris when the building collapsed, told CNN that work-release inmates helped rescue her and others from the rubble.

Workman said that he was forced to evacuate the 83 inmates at the main jail to other facilities because the damage was so severe.

“(The damage is) structurally bad enough that I question it’ll ever be able to open again,” he said.

No inmates were injured when the tornado hit the main jail, Workman said.

“I’ve been in law enforcement and corrections since 1986 and I’ve never seen anything like this,” he said.

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CNN’s Paul P. Murphy contributed to this report.

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