Manhunt underway for five escapees from Missouri jail

By Brendan O'Brien

(Reuters) - A manhunt was underway on Thursday for five fugitives who fled in a stolen vehicle after escaping from a Missouri detention center earlier this week.

Three of the men - LuJuan Tucker, Aaron Sebastian and Kelly McSean - are known sex offenders and were being held for crimes committed while in prison. The two other men - Dakota Pace and Michael Wilkins - were being held on felony warrants, the St. Francois County Sheriff's Department said in a statement.

The men escaped the St. Francois County Detention Center in Farmington, about 75 miles (121 km) south of St. Louis, at about 7 p.m. local time on Tuesday.

The "inmates ... made entry into a secured cell. From there, the inmates made their way through a secured door by use of force," the sheriff said.

The men then climbed on to the facility's roof and made their way to the ground. The inmates walked for about 15 minutes until they entered a secured parking lot where they stole a grey 2009 Scion TC with temporary tags, the sheriff said.

The men took off their orange clothing and were seen on camera wearing white thermal leggings, white boxer and basketball shorts and white and black t-shirts, the department said.

The U.S. Marshals Service has issued bulletins for the five men, calling them dangerous and a flight risk.

(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Chicago; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)