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Two Soldiers Escape Fort Lewis Brig

Wed., Jan. 1, 1997

Authorities are searching for two prisoners who escaped from the Fort Lewis jail.

Military officials said the two men were present at a routine check of the Fort Lewis Regional Confinement Facility at 10 p.m. Sunday, but were missing at the midnight check. Army officials believe both were wearing military field camouflage uniforms when they escaped.

The two were identified as Todd D. Erks, 22, an Air Force serviceman from Spokane serving a sentence for controlled substance abuse, breaking and entering and larceny, and Daniel B. Lewis, 23, a soldier from Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, who was serving a term for being absent without leave.

The two were still at large Tuesday.

Military officials said the two apparently climbed the facility’s security fences to escape. Following the escape they made their way to Dupont, where they called a taxi.

Fort Lewis said after being driven to Olympia the two threatened the taxi driver with a knife and stole the vehicle. They were last seen Monday morning at a service station in Olympia.

The confinement facility houses 159 prisoners and is one of three such centers for the military.

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