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Hall deputies search for escaped inmate

Inmate wasn't discovered missing for 24 hours

POSTED: January 19, 2009 5:31 p.m.
The Hall County Sheriff's Office of Internal Affairs is investigating why jail officials failed to realize an inmate of the Hall County Jail had escaped until 24 hours after the inmate went missing.

Police believe 24-year-old Obiel Pineda-Pardo escaped when he was allowed to take out the trash around 7 a.m. Friday, but he was not reported missing until after a Saturday morning head count.

The incident is still under investigation, but Col. Jeff Strickland, chief deputy at the Hall County Sheriff's Office, says likely the mistake was an employee's fault.

"A preliminary investigation reveals that we probably have some employee error," Strickland said.

Pineda-Pardo, was on trustee status when he escaped the jail Friday. He and two other inmates were on a trash detail, and when Pineda-Pardo tood the trash to a Dumpster outside the jail he did not return.

Strickland said one officer was responsible for the three trustees, but would not comment further because of the ongoing internal investigation.

Pineda-Pardo was originally arrested in March and was in the jail facing drug-related charges and an immigration hold.

The sheriff's office said Pardo has no other history in Hall County and does not consider him dangerous.

Deputies from the Sheriff's Office are currently searching for Pineda-Pardo, and has offered a reward of $2,500 to anyone providing information leading to his capture.

The incident is still under investigation by Internal Affairs, Strickland said.




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