An inmate who escaped from a moving police van outside of Chicago, has been found six hours later – in a port-a-potty.
Cesar Sanchez, 37, who was serving a seven year sentence for robbery and aggravated battery, according to WGN-TV, escaped from the van still wearing his handcuffs in Lockport, Ill., about 50 miles southwest of Chicago. Police initiated a full-scale search using search dogs and helicopters equipped with infrared technology and eventually found the convicted felon in a Waste Management facility storing hundreds of portable toilets.
Despite the use of million-dollar helicopters with infrared technology, it was a police dog named “Melanie” who finally found Sanchez, reported the Chicago Tribune.
Melanie, a bloodhound, picked up Sanchez's scent in the Waste Management yard. At first, police could not find Sanchez in any of the portable toilets, but a police officer noticed a footprint and proceeded to search every one.
"As you can imagine, looking through 300 port-a-potties was going to be quite a job," Will County Sheriff Paul Kaupas said, according to NBCChicago.com.
After escaping from the van, Sanchez allegedly hitched a ride on the back of a delivery truck. The driver later told police that he had seen a man matching the description of Sanchez put out by police jump off the back of the truck at a stoplight. Video surveillance later confirmed the report, NBCChicago said.
Authorities are still investigating how Sanchez escaped in the first place. According to Illinois Department of Corrections spokeswoman Sharyn Elman, it is believed that Sanchez kicked open the door of the van. Although he was able to run away still wearing handcuffs, police maintain he injured his leg during the jump.
The six hour pursuit ended at approximately 8:15 p.m. Police put out a community alert immediately after Sanchez escaped and advised residents to lock their doors and stay inside.
A photo of police apprehending Sanchez in the portable toilet can be seen here.