All escaped juveniles now in custody

Published: Sep. 20, 2021 at 3:58 PM EDT
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UPDATE 9/20/21 @ 10 p.m.

CABELL COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - A fourth juvenile has been captured after escaping the Shell Juvenile Center, the Barboursville Police Chief and a spokesperson for the West Virginia Department of Homeland Security said.

The fourth arrest was made sometime after 7:30 p.m.

Three other juveniles were arrested earlier in the day Monday, not far from the center.

The four young men escaped the juvenile center, officials said, during outdoor recreation time. The incident was reported around 3:30 p.m., and three were arrested before 5 p.m.

Living about a mile from the Western Regional Jail and the Shell Juvenile Center, home security is something Danny Burks doesn’t take lightly.

Before he was even aware there’d been an escape at the juvenile center, Burks says the motion sensor by his driveway along Guyan River Road went off.

He looked out his window and saw he had unexpected company.

“I watched them,” he said. “They got out here to this curve, stopped, and started taking their shirts off.”

Suspecting the trespassers were up to no good, Burks released his German shepherds Layla and Gwen.

“They ran them out of here,” he said. “They scattered like hawk on chickens. It was kind of funny because this was their first test on that I’ve been training them for and stuff, and they did really good. I was really proud of them.”

Burks says the escapees took off toward the railroad tracks.

“Next thing I know, there’s law all over the place,” he said.

Autumn Burks lives nearby. Her husband helped police search the woods on their property. She was worried the escapees might try to steal a car.

“You just never know what anyone’s capable of,” she said.

Danny Burks says, living near the facility, an escape is often a worry in the back of his mind.

“Just one time is all it takes for the wrong one to get out of there,” he said. “That’s what we’re worried about, who live around here anyway. It’s a little concerning.”

Keep checking the WSAZ App for updates.


CABELL COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Barboursville Police Officers were looking Monday afternoon for four juveniles who escaped from the Shell Juvenile Center.

That is according to Cabell County 911 dispatchers.

Just before 5 p.m., three were taken into custody near the detention center.

Earlier in the afternoon, crews were reported looking in the Merritt Creek area near the interstate and the Big Ben Bowen Highway.

A spokesperson for the West Virginia Department of Homeland Security says the juveniles took off during outdoor recreation.

Police say the young men were last seen around 3:30 p.m. wearing wearing gray sweatpants and maroon shirts.

If you see anyone matching this description or have any other information you are asked to call 911.

Keep checking the WSAZ App for updates.

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