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By Andrew DeMillo
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Five correction officers were placed on leave Monday after two convicted killers escaped a high-security unit by wearing guard uniforms that are made at the prison and leaving in a car left for them.
The men who escaped from the prison in Grady on Friday evening were seen in Missouri and later in Michigan, where one has relatives, Correction Department spokeswoman Dina Tyler said.
She said the five officers were on unpaid leave while the department investigates the escape of Jeffrey Grinder and Calvin Adams. Tyler would not name the five officers, but said they had been guarding the entry and exit points of the prison.
Gov. Mike Beebe called the escape "inexcusable" and said he was waiting on the department's investigation into how it occurred.
"We don't know whether it was a breakdown at the gate where they left, we don't know if it's a breakdown with whoever was watching the cameras, we don't know whether it was a breakdown within the library. We don't know how much of it was inside in terms of cooperation," Beebe told The Associated Press.
Among the jobs for inmates at the high-security Cummins Unit is making uniforms for jail guards and law officers. Video surveillance shows the men put on the uniforms in the prison library after a 6 p.m. headcount and walked out of the prison unchallenged during a shift change soon afterward, Tyler said.
Grinder, 32, and Adams, 39, drove away in a car that was left for them, although authorities are trying to find out who left the car.
The men were each convicted of capital murder and were serving life sentences without parole.
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Grady is a town of 500 people in southeast Arkansas.