On May 22, 2023, a convicted murderer named Bradley Gillespie orchestrated a daring escape from the Allen/Oakwood Correctional Institution in Lima, Ohio. Alongside his fellow inmate, James Lee, Gillespie managed to elude authorities and evade capture. However, the manhunt for Gillespie came to a tragic end when his lifeless body was discovered floating in the Ohio River on May 28, 2023, bringing closure to a multiday search. In this article, we will delve into the details of Gillespie’s escape, the subsequent manhunt, and the circumstances surrounding his untimely demise.
Escape from Prison: A Cunning Plan Unveiled
On May 22, 2023, Bradley Gillespie, 50, devised an audacious plan to break free from the confines of the correctional facility. With meticulous precision, Gillespie and James Lee, 47, concealed themselves in a dumpster, enabling them to leave the prison undetected. The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction revealed that Gillespie and Lee were reported missing during a prisoner count on May 23, 2023.
A Stolen Car, a High-Speed Pursuit, and an Unsettling Escape
Shortly after their escape, Gillespie and Lee were spotted in a stolen vehicle in Henderson, Kentucky, in the early hours of May 24, 2023. Henderson Police Chief Sean McKinney recounted how the suspects initiated a reckless pursuit, resulting in a crash. While Lee was apprehended after a brief chase, Gillespie managed to flee the scene on foot, triggering an extensive manhunt that spanned several days.
The Discovery of Gillespie’s Lifeless Body
The manhunt for Bradley Gillespie took a devastating turn when authorities received a tip about a body floating in the Ohio River on May 28, 2023. Henderson Police swiftly responded to the call, and preliminary investigations indicated that the recovered body belonged to Gillespie. Tattoos and physical examination aided in the preliminary identification. An autopsy is scheduled for May 30, 2023, to determine the exact cause of death.
Gillespie’s Criminal History and Incarceration
Bradley Gillespie had a troubling past that led to his incarceration. Since 2016, he had been serving a sentence for a double homicide, having been convicted of the murders of Hannah Fischer and her boyfriend, Frank Tracy Jr. The slayings occurred in February 2016 when Gillespie, fueled by rage and drug-induced confrontations, fatally shot the victims in the head. Gillespie was serving two consecutive 15-year-to-life terms for these crimes.
The Investigation and Accountability
The escape of Bradley Gillespie and James Lee raised serious concerns regarding prison security and the actions of prison staff. The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction initiated an internal investigation, placing a major and three corrections officers on paid administrative leave. The investigation aims to uncover any lapses or negligence that facilitated the inmates’ escape. Simultaneously, the Ohio State Highway Patrol is conducting a criminal investigation to determine if any additional charges are warranted.
Closure and Reflection
While the discovery of Bradley Gillespie’s body brings closure to the manhunt, it is a somber moment for authorities and the community. Police Chief Sean McKinney emphasized that celebrating the loss of any life is inappropriate, highlighting the importance of compassion and respect. The tragic end to Gillespie’s escape reminds us of the severity of his crimes and the impact they had on the lives of his victims and their loved ones.
Bradley Gillespie’s escape from the Allen/Oakwood Correctional Institution and subsequent demise in the Ohio River has captured public attention. The details of his escape, the intensive manhunt, and the ultimate discovery of his lifeless body have left many questioning the effectiveness of prison security measures. As the investigations continue, the focus remains on learning from this incident to prevent future escapes and ensure the safety of communities.