Two inmates escape from Allen-Oakwood Correctional Institution


LIMA — Two inmates escaped from Allen-Oakwood Correctional Institution Tuesday.

The public should call 911 immediately if they see either of the men. They should be aware and use caution, and you should not approach either of them.

The two inmates are James Lee, 47, who has brown hair, blue eyes and weighs 300 pounds. The other inmate is Bradley Gillespie, a 50-year-old man who is bald with blue eyes and weighs 200 pounds.

JoEllen Smith, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, said in a statement Tuesday afternoon that officials at the prison “are working closely with local law enforcement on searching for and apprehending” the escapees.

“These individuals should be considered dangerous. Anyone who sees either of these individuals or has any information regarding their whereabouts should call 911 immediately,” Smith said.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol is on-site and leading the investigation.

The Delphos Police Department posted on Facebook around 4 p.m. Tuesday to address rumors circulating online about the situation. The police department’s post explained that there was no truth to rumors of an officer-involved shooting involving the fugitives.

The post also said there was no information that the fugitives were being held up in a residence in Delphos.

Additional information was not immediately available Tuesday.

A Paulding County judge sent Gillespie to prison in November 2016 on murder charges out of Paulding County, according to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. He was sentenced to two 15-year to life sentences in the murders of Frank Tracy Jr. and Hannah Fischer.

Lee, whose prison sentence began in March 2021, was imprisoned for 10 1/2 years for a burglary charge out of Allen County, as well as a 1 1/2 year safe-cracking and one-year breaking-and-entering charge out of Auglaize County, according to the ODRC.

Allen-Oakwood Correctional Institution is located on Lima’s north side, at 2338 N. West St., Lima. It opened in 1988, with 1,480 inmates on its 77-acre property.

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