A 13-year-old accused of double murder in North Carolina escaped from custody following a court appearance on Tuesday. A massive statewide manhunt is underway to search for Jericho W.
The North Carolina Department of Public Safety said in a news release that the teen escaped after going before a judge in Lumberton. He was charged with two counts of first-degree murder on October 17 in the deaths of brothers Frank Thomas, 34, and Adam Thomas, 33, local NBC affiliate WRAL reported at the time.
"Division officials have a high degree of concern for the safety of both the juvenile and the public, due to a prior history of assaultive and unpredictable behavior," the agency said. Authorities were conducting search for the teenager.
The 13-year-old was scheduled to appear in court for two counts of first-degree murder and robbery with a dangerous weapons charge, the sheriff's office added.
The teen's mother, Nikki Jacobs, told WRAL-TV her 13-year-old was "out here in the dark."
"My baby's out here somewhere, nobody knows, and he is all alone and hopefully he is safe wherever he is at," Jacobs said. "I just wish that he would come back, turn himself in and get the help that he needs."
Authorities said that the teenager was last seen barefoot and in leg cuffs, wearing a white T-shirt and beige pants. He's described as 5 feet tall and approximately 110 pounds. Anyone with information about the whereabouts of the suspect was requested to call Matthew Jenkins with the Department of Public Safety Communications Center at (919) 825-2726 or the Robeson County Sheriff's Office at (910) 671-3170.