LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - It started as a tip on Saturday that Antonio Howard, the wanted inmate from Adair County jail, was seen getting into a car on Florence Avenue, in Lexington. Police took the tip seriously, as officers searched the area with guns drawn, the helicopter hovering above, and K-9s combing the area.
"I'm getting more scared that it's not going to be that peaceful, turn yourself in type of situation. Because he was in a position where he could've done that yesterday, and turned himself in, but he broke and ran," said Eugenia Howard, the escapee's mother.
Howard and another inmate, Ira Boles, walked away from a minimal security job at the Adair County jail. Howard's girlfriend reported to police that he threatened to kill her. She has been in protection since, and police put out an alert for the escaped inmate.
Eugenia Howard said in a previous interview, she's confused by her son's escape saying he only had a few weeks until a parole hearing. She also said the 24-year-old inmate is bi-polar and may not be thinking clearly. Still she worries as each second, minute, and hour passes.
"I'm not trying to help him stay out on the streets, I'm trying to get him off the streets."
This mother warned her son that his actions are affecting others. One man was detained and questioned by investigators for allegedly having the escapee in his car, moments before Howard ran from police on Florence Avenue.
"They think this is a game, and it's not a game. If it is, then it's not one with a happy ending," said Eugenia.
Even after yesterday's close call, the Lexington police say they continue to receive tips. Today, they had a lead that Howard was seen at a hotel off Versailles Road. Police did not find the escapee but that doesn't mean they've stopped looking.
"You've had your 15 minutes of fame, it's over. Stop running," pleads Howard's mother.
Eugenia said her son has contacted her, more than once, and each time she has encouraged him to surrender, but she also said her son is being secretive about everything as well. That includes blocking his phone number on the caller ID.
"I'm the type of mother that if I know where he's at and what he's doing, then I'm going to send the police there. He knows this."
However, the mother did say her son has one request: to see his two daughters before he surrenders, but his mother has news for him, "You've made a bad situation worse. They're (the police) not going to allow you two feet within those kids."
Eugenia said her son called her trying to talk to one of his sisters, but the mother recognized his veiled attempt to get help from her. She said she will not allow her family or even Howard's friends to help him during this time.
Also during this time, Howard's girlfriend has been seeking advice from his mother, according to Eugenia. She said she continues to support the mother of her grandchildren and added that her safety and the safety of her grandkids outweighs her concern for her son. Eugenia went on to say she doesn't blame her son's girlfriend for any of this, saying it was her son's "stupid" decision to leave the jail, not her's.
None of this makes it any easier, though, to watch the events unfold and Eugenia said she wants to see her son safely back in jail, even if that means she has to bring him in herself.