Prison escapees spotted in NW Ind.

July 17, 2009 The pair escaped from the Indiana State Prison on Sunday.

The three convicts escaped through an underground tunnel system on the prison property.

There have been several sightings of the missing convicts, including three on Thursday. Indiana officials say there have been significant sightings around the Carroll Avenue South Shore train station in Michigan City.

Police searched the area around the train station and wetland for hours, looking for 45-year-old convicted rapist Lance Battreal and 46-year-old convicted murderer Mark Booher, who escaped from the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City on Sunday.

State prison spokesman John Schrader said two South Shore train station employees reported the last sightings.

"He looked very dirty, grungy, hunched over, white male. When we went back, we did not find anything that proved to be fruitful," said Shrader.

Officials have not found anything yet and have scaled down their search.

"At this time we're standing by, gaining additional information from tips and following up on them. There's no heavy manhunt," said Shrader.

Natassja Spencer says she works the day care center near where a person was spotted.

"I feel uncomfortable, I feel scared and nervous because I walk down here every day. So I mean that's frightening," said Natassja Spencer, Michigan City resident.

Ann Jones says she is afraid for herself and her four grandchildren.

"When my husband goes to work I lock the door, close the windows. We're taking the kids and going to a hotel and letting them swim," said Spencer. "We're going to stay away from here for a little bit."

Kay Kennedy says she's afraid to take her eyes off her children.

"I'm worried. I'm sitting here watching the boys. I'm not going to stop doing what I normally do but I did make sure all my windows are closed," said Kennedy.

"They are very dangerous individuals. We have consistently told the public if they have any tips, don't bother approaching the individual yourself or try to find out, simply turn the information over to the law enforcement agencies who are far better equipped to investigate it," said Shrader.

Shrader also added that people need to be on the lookout for clothes or food missing from their homes and report that to authorities.

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