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For Immediate Release

Contact:
September 28, 2021 District of Kansas (316) 269-6479;
U.S. Marshals Office of Public Affairs (703) 740-1699
Dangerous Sex Offender Who Escaped From Kansas Mental Hospital Arrested in Utah,
Thanks to Tips From the Public

Wichita, KS – John Freeman Colt, 42, a dangerous sex offender who escaped June 30 from a state mental hospital in Kansas was arrested in Wayne County, Utah, Monday night.

U.S. Marshals investigators say viewers in Wayne County saw Colt’s wanted poster on the news Monday evening and recognized Colt, calling in tips to the U.S. Marshals Service and the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office. As sheriff’s deputies were staging in a parking lot near the target house, they saw Colt roll by on his blue motorcycle and gave chase. Colt eventually decided to give up. He confirmed his identity, and the sheriff confirmed the motorcycle VIN in NCIC.

He is being held in the Sevier County jail pending his return to Kansas.

“Effective law enforcement in the United States today is enhanced by citizens willing to report what they see,” said U.S. marshal for the District of Kansas Ronald Miller. “That occurred in this case and resulted in a violent predator being recaptured.”

Pawnee County Sheriff Scott King said, “I would like to thank the U.S. Marshals Service, along with everyone involved in the hunt for Colt, and especially the Wayne County, Utah, Sheriff’s Office for their apprehension of the dangerous fugitive.”

The U.S. Marshals elevated Colt’s escape to major case status Sept. 20 and had offered up to $10,000 as reward for information leading to Colt’s arrest. The USMS will continue to collect information and work with Utah USMS to start a failure to register case on him. As the lead federal agency for sex offender violations following passage of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, the USMS has the primary responsibility of assisting state, local, tribal, and territorial authorities in the location and apprehension of noncompliant and fugitive sex offenders, as well as investigating violations of the act for federal prosecution.

Colt was sentenced on Dec. 14, 2001, to five years in state prison for aggravated sexual battery, attempted rape, aggravated burglary, and four counts of aggravated battery against law enforcement. He was required to register as a sexual offender for the remainder of his life.

After his criminal sentence was completed, the State of Kansas courts deemed him a Sexually Violent Predator at high risk to commit a future sex offense and too dangerous to be released. He was indefinitely civilly committed and sent to the Larned State Hospital’s Sexual Predator Treatment Program in 2007, where he has resided until the escape.

Investigators believe Colt planned his escape several months in advance, obtaining a replica of a staff ID badge and dress clothes. The morning of his escape he shaved off his long hair and beard. He put blankets under his bed covers making it appear he was still in bed sleeping. He was then able to convince a new staff worker (that he targeted) that he was in fact a new doctor and needed help finding his way out. Posing as a doctor, Colt was able to make his way past five secured doors and ultimately outside the gates.

Several hours passed before staff noticed he was missing and alerted the Pawnee County Sheriff’s Office. After escaping, Colt received a ride from a local farmer to the town of Larned. From there he rode to Scott City on a motorcycle he’d purchased prior to his escape with the help of an accomplice.

Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found at http://www.usmarshals.gov.

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