The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Search continues for Gogebic inmate

 

Richard Jenkins/Daily Globe

MEMBERS OF the Gogebic County Sheriff's Department and Michigan State Police debrief at a staging point off Powderhorn Road Wednesday during a break in the search for an inmate who escaped from the Gogebic County Jail Monday night. The search focused on the Powderhorn area after two sightings of the inmate, Daniel Ferguson, were reported from the area. Ferguson remains on the loose and the department encourages anyone who sees something suspicious to call 911 or contact the department.

By RICHARD JENKINS

rjenkins@yourdailyglobe.com

Ironwood Township - As nightfall approached Wednesday, the search continued for an escaped inmate from the Gogebic County Jail, despite two sightings in the Powderhorn area in as many days.

Daniel Ferguson, 26, escaped sometime after 8:45 p.m., Monday, according to a Gogebic County Sheriff's Department Facebook post at approximately 9:33 p.m., that night.

Wednesday's search effort centered around Big Powderhorn Mountain, after there were two reported sightings of Ferguson in that area.

"Right now, what we are doing is we're checking condos in the area. I've been going door-to-door here for the last few hours," Gogebic County Undersheriff Ross Solberg told the Daily Globe during a break in the search Wednesday afternoon. "And we're re-sweeping these wooded areas with officers on foot and some canines."

Solberg said one of the reported sightings occurred Tuesday afternoon, while the other was reported sometime after 3 a.m. Wednesday.

Based on the information from the reports, Solberg said it appeared Ferguson was no longer wearing the jail uniform he escaped in, and now had on a woman's jacket - possibly with a hood - and "some kind of deer skin on his feet."

Solbeg declined to comment on the specifics of how Ferguson escaped, citing jail security.

Solberg said people should take precautions and call 911 if they see anything suspicious.

"I would guess he's desperate because he escaped from our jail and is still on foot somewhere. I wouldn't rule out somebody being dangerous so I would consider him dangerous at this point," he said.

One of the sightings was reported by Danielle Brannigan and Kim Olby.

Brannigan - who said she is Ferguson's ex and has two kids with him - was staying with Olby at her Powdervale Drive residence, off Powderhorn Road.

According to Brannigan, she was moving boxes at around 2 p.m. Tuesday when Ferguson allegedly "cornered" her between the house and garage.

"I was like, 'Well, where is she?' Because we were doing stuff together - she was helping me carry out boxes - and I went out there and ... there he was," Olby said.

Brannigan said Ferguson wanted several things, including her phone and to get back to his vehicle.

"He was demanding rides, and clothes, and shoes," Brannigan said.

"He scared the heck out of us," Olby said, adding she was eventually able to slip away and call 911.

Brannigan said she also called the cops during the interaction.

Olby believes, given the time difference between the alleged interaction and Ferguson's escape, he may have camped out in the woods overnight.

"He must have (been) watching the place and knew she was there," Olby said.

Olby and Brannigan said they were woken up at around 3:44 a.m., Wednesday due to the second reported sighting and are nervous Ferguson hasn't been apprehended yet.

"We didn't know what to do, we were freaking out. I was just so shook up," Olby said. "I'm still kind of shook up today a little bit. We didn't sleep at all, we were up (since the early morning sighting)."

They also think he stayed in the area.

"He's got to be somewhere over here, hiding somewhere," Olby said

Prior to the reported sighting Tuesday; Ferguson was last seen heading northwest on Moore Street away from the jail, according to the department, wearing black and white jail striped pants and jail orange shirt, but no shoes.

Ferguson was in jail on an operating under the influence charge and a probation violation warrant from Wisconsin.

Ferguson was on probation in Iron County for felony false imprisonment and misdemeanor battery charges, stemming from a 2015 domestic violence case. According to online Wisconsin court records, Ferguson was sentenced to two years in prison - which was stayed - and three years extended supervision on the charge in July 2015.

Ferguson is 6 foot, 180 pounds with blond hair and hazel eyes. He has tattoos on his neck, chest, upper arms and left hand, according to the department.

Deputies advised anyone who sees anything suspicious to call 911 or the department.

 
 

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