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One Inmate Captured, One At Large After Union County Jail Escape

Union County Sheriff's Office
Cody Ray (left) and Joshua Hammond (right) escaped from the West Central Community Correctional Facility on Saturday. Ray was caught Tuesday night but Hammond remains at large.

A corn field, a stolen vehicle and a midnight car chase - that was the recipe leading to the capture of escaped inmate Cody Ray on Tuesday night.

Ray was one of two inmates who escaped from West Central Community Correctional Facility in Union County on Saturday. Along with Joshua Hammond, Ray ran through an open door and climbed a 12-foot fence to get out of the jail. They were spotted running through a nearby corn field, but evaded authorities for several days.

Union County Sheriff Jamie Batton says the West Central facility is for inmates serving time for lower-level drug charges, and now Ray will face prison escape and auto theft charges.

“We were notified by Hamilton County’s Sheriffs Office that one of their deputies were involved in a pursuit, a short pursuit of a stolen vehicle out of Union County,” Batton said.

Ray, a 27-year-old resident of West Mansfield, was jailed last month for a probation violation after being charged with grand theft.

“His stay is going to be much longer, and most likely in a prison setting versus a West Central type setting,” Batton says.

West Central is one of Ohio’s Community Based Correctional Facilities, which focus on treatment and serve as a prison alternative for non-violent offenders.

Hammond, a 28-year-old Columbus resident, is still on the lam. Hammond was also jailed for a probation violation, and was originally charged with drug possession.