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Mar 6, 2011 9:10 PM by Carolyn Cerda

Troopers Searching for Two Trustees

Baton Rouge - Department of Public Safety Police are currently searching for two trustees who escaped from the Louisiana State Police Headquarters compound Saturday afternoon. At 4:15 pm, during a scheduled periodic trustee check, DPS Officers learned that the two trustees, 36 year old Ricky Wedgeworth of Tennessee, and 33 year old Darian Peirce of Bogalusa, LA, were missing. They were last seen on the Headquarters compound a short time before the check. DPS Officers and Troopers immediately issued a statewide BOLO (Be on the Lookout) for both trustees to all law enforcement agencies.

Louisiana State Troopers and DPS Officers, along with deputies and city police officers throughout the Greater Baton Rouge Area immediately began a thorough search for the trustees. Detectives were called to investigate and are currently following leads. Through the investigation, detectives confirmed that a white 1997 Dodge 2500 van was taken.

The Department of Public Safety Dodge van was located last night on US 61 south of LA 965 at approximately 10:30 pm after a passer-by saw it and called Troop A. Troopers and West Feliciana Sheriff's deputies secured the van and the scene and immediately began a search of the surrounding area. The trustees green issued clothing was left inside the van. Department of Corrections K-9 units assisted with the search, with no results.

Detectives, with the assistance of several police and sheriff offices, worked through the night following leads and conducting several interviews in various locations across the state. The U.S. Marshal Task Force has been contacted for assistance, and detectives are working closely with the task force to bring the two fugitives into custody.

Both trustees were serving 25-year sentences and assigned to the LSP Barracks for felony offenses. Ricky Wedgeworth was incarcerated for Armed Robbery. He has been assigned to the LSP Barracks since 2006. Darian "Drake" Peirce was incarcerated for Second Degree Murder. He has been assigned to the LSP Barracks since 2009.

The public is strongly encouraged to call Louisiana State Police Troop A at 225-754-8500 or Crime Stoppers at 225-344-STOP (7867) with ANY information available. No piece of information is too small or insignificant. Crime Stoppers is offering up to $1,000 for information that may lead to the apprehension of the two trustees. Those with information who wish to remain anonymous can contact Crime Stoppers.

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