Louisiana escapees have ties to Memphis area - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Louisiana escapees have ties to Memphis area

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MEMPHIS, TN -

By Lori Brown - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The Memphis Police Department said Sunday their officers are on alert for two prison escapees with ties to the Memphis area.

Investigators said Ricky Wedgeworth and Darian "Drake" Pierce carjacked a businessman in Vicksburg, Mississippi, murdered him, and dumped his body in Bessemer, Alabama.

The escapees from a Baton Rouge, Louisiana prison were last seen in Jackson, Tennessee.  Memphis Police believe they may be coming to Memphis or are already in the city.

Police said Pierce has a sick child that attends Georgian Hills Elementary School in Frayser.  Wedgeworth also used to live in Memphis.

"I'm a little afraid," said Frayser resident Billie Balb.

Police said the two men will likely do anything to keep from getting caught.  People in the Frayser area said they are on the lookout.

"So much happening these days, we've just got to be aware of our surroundings," said Frayser resident Kathy Driskell.

Investigators advised keep car windows up and doors locked to protect yourself from carjackers.  If someone approaches you with a gun, do what they say.  However, many experts said if someone points a gun at you and tells you to stay in your car, you should do whatever you can to get out.

"A lot of people try to avoid the news, but we need to look at the news to see what's going on," said Driskell.  "That way we can be aware."

"We've got the best police here in the United States right here in Memphis, Tennessee," said Frayser resident.  "With Buddy Chapman and Crime Stoppers, and they'll get you."

Leaders with the Louisiana State Police Department will be in Jackson, Tennessee Monday morning.  They plan to provide an "update on future plans" at a news conference.

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