A 13-year-old boy facing two first-degree murder charges has escaped custody after a court appearance.
The juvenile identified only as Jericho W. escaped from the Robeson County Courthouse located in Lumberton, North Carolina at approximately 12:10 p.m. local time on Tuesday, November 5, the North Carolina Department of Public Safety said.
The department said on its Facebook page that Jericho has been in custody at the Cumberland Juvenile Detention Center since October 14, but did not detail the criminal case against him.
“Division officials have a high degree of concern for the safety of both the juvenile and the public, due to a prior history of assaultive and unpredictable behavior,” it said.
The young teen, the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office said, escaped while wearing leg restraints and no shoes. The boy, the office said was in court facing two counts of first-degree murder and robbery with dangerous weapon charges.
He was wearing a white shirt and beige pants the last time he was seen.
“He’s 13 years old and out here in the dark,” WRAL quoted the teen’s mother, Nikki Jacobs as saying. “My baby’s out here somewhere, nobody knows, and he is all alone and hopefully he is safe wherever he is at.
“I just wish that he would come back … turn himself in and get the help that he needs.”
Helicopters from the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office and the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office were involved in the search along with members of the US Marshals office in Wilmington and Fayetteville, Lumberton police officers and Robeson County Sheriff’s Office deputies, WRAL reported.
The boy and a 19-year-old were charged in October when authorities found two men, Frank Thomas, 34, and Adam Thomas, 33, dead in a home they shared.
They were arrested on two counts of first-degree murder in the case. The older teen was also charged with conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon and robbery with a dangerous weapon at the time.