Prison kitchen worker arrested in connection with escape

A kitchen worker at Columbia Correctional Institution was arrested Thursday night and is accused of helping two men escape from the prison.

Holly Marie Zimdahl, 46, of rural Pardeeville faces a possible charge of being a party the crime of escape.

Thomas E. Deering, 45, and James Robert Newman, 36, scaled fences to break out of the prison just before 5 a.m. Thursday.

Zimdahl is a civilian who works in the kitchen, according to a news release from the Columbia County Sheriff's Office.

The two inmates were arrested Friday morning after showing up at a Rockford, Illinois nonprofit, cold and asking for help.

The sheriff's office says the two inmates started their escape from CCI at 4:25 a.m. and were over both fences at 4:35 a.m.

They believe a vehicle picked up Deering and Newman at 5:54 a.m. that morning at the Poynette Piggly Wiggly and traveled south on Highway 51 leaving Poynette.

Investigators are still trying to locate the vehicle. Our focus is finding everyone that helped them escape from both inside and outside of the prison, according to the news release.

As the investigation continues, additional arrests are expected, according to the sheriff's office.

To read more go to WKOW

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