Gardner police capture inmate who escaped from Lansing Correctional Facility

GARDNER, Kan. - Gardner police have captured an inmate who escaped Wednesday from the Lansing Correctional Facility.

On Thursday night, authorities in Gardner spent about four hours searching for Ronny Dale Peters after somebody matching his description ran from a police officer.

A resident in the Conestoga mobile home park, in the 1100 block of East Santa Fe in Gardner, called police around 10:30 p.m. Thursday, saying he saw a man who looked like Peters.  Steven Long also called police.  He knew Peters from middle school, and called police to protect his own family.

"I was more worried about my family and us getting evacuated from here because it would be considered harbouring a fugitive," said Long.

Long's mobile home is next door the vacant mobile home Peters was found in.  Long says he tried to get Peters to turn himself in before he called police

Peters, convicted of several crimes in Johnson County, escaped the Lansing Correctional Facility on Wednesday. Officials say he should be considered dangerous. He was about six months into a 32-month sentence for aggravated battery, theft, possession of opiates, opium, narcotic drugs, domestic battery and burglary.

When Gardner Police arrived, they approached the man, who was still walking in the area, and asked to talk with him.

The man ran off. Officers from the Gardner Police Department, Johnson County Sheriff's Office and the Kansas Highway Patrol searched the area until about 2:30 a.m. Friday.

A Gardner police spokesman said earlier Friday they can't be sure if the man was Peters, but they didn't want to take any chances.

Peters was arrested without incident at a residence in the mobile home park around 11 a.m. Friday. He was taken into the custody of the United States Marshall's Service. 

The U.S. Marshall Service also arrested Peters' former girlfriend, Heather Ziegler, for aiding a fugitive.  She's being held in  a Wyandotte County jail.


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