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Search for inmate disrupts business, leads to lockdown and safety alert

MADISON COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - There was an intense search in Madison County on Thursday afternoon. It began after a state inmate walked away form a halfway facility.

Officials tell us Russell Helm, 33, disappeared from the Bluegrass Career Development Center on Thursday morning.

The search took place near the H.T. Hackney Company and the Sherwin Williams plant. Sherwin Williams was evacuated as part of the search.

Helm's escape also prompted a safety alert at Eastern Kentucky University.

"It's just a matter of standard procedure that we notify our campus community of this situation and to just keep them alert if they see this individual," said Marc Whitt, who is the vice president of public relations at EKU.

Mayfield Elementary also went into lockdown for an hour on Thursday afternoon because of the search.

"We can't do what we do every day if our kids aren't safe and if our staff isn't safe and they have to feel safe too. Anytime there is a situation that might threaten that safety, we step what our normal security procedures are," said Erin Stewart, who is the public information director with the Madison County school district.

Helm was serving time on drug charges out of Carroll County. He was up for parole in August 2013.


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