An Evening Shade teen, who had escaped from the Sharp County jail Oct. 26, not only came back on her own, but came back with a shirt full of pills, according to authorities.
Carrie Meiburger, 17, had been jailed on a misdemeanor criminal trespass charge and was sent to a rehabilitation center, Sheriff Dale Weaver said. After she completed the program, she was returned to jail to face additional charges of residential burglary and theft of property, both felonies, he said.
After almost three weeks in jail, Meiburger decided to make a run for it and did Oct. 26.
A jailer took the inmates outside into the exercise yard behind the jail around 6:15 p.m. When the jailer attempted to gather the inmates and return them to their cells about 35 minutes later, she noticed Meiburger was gone, Weaver said.
Meiburger escaped by pulling up a piece of fence on one of the gates to the county exercise yard, Weaver said. When the jailer had her back turned, the teen inmate ran, he said, adding that Meiburger probably had help from other inmates.
County deputies, Ash Flat police and fire personnel, Arkansas State Police officers and others searched the area for Meiburger until she returned on her own about four hours later, Weaver said. Search dogs were not called.
"We knew since she was a local she would probably stay in the area. We just wanted to make sure she was safe," Weaver said.
While free, Meiburger stopped a motorist, claiming her car had broken down and she needed a ride to call her father, said Det. Sgt. David Huffmaster. The motorist took her to Murphy USA in Ash Flat, he said.
"She apparently got scared and ran off," Huffmaster said.
Meiburger allegedly did more than just catch a ride to a convenience store.
When she returned to jail around 11 p.m. and knocked on the door inside the jail office, she had approximately 20 Xanax and 15 unidentified pills tucked into the hem of her shirt and stuffed inside her bra, Weaver said.
"She got her some more drugs and came back to jail. She said she had gotten cold. At this point we don't know exactly where she went," Weaver said.
Meiburger now is also charged with furnishing prohibited articles, a felony, and misdemeanor escape charges are pending, Huffmaster said.