OFFICIALS: At least 1 of 3 teens who escaped Wilder Youth was charged with homicide

SOMERVILLE, Tenn. — Three more youth have escaped the Wilder Youth Development Center sometime overnight, officials said.

The Fayette County Sheriff’s Office was notified about 6:45 a.m. Wednesday that the three teens, all 17, escaped from the Somerville facility between 12:45 a.m. and 3 a.m. Wednesday, the sheriff’s office said.

Officials said they do not know which direction the teens are going or their means of travel.

Two of the escapees are from Memphis and one is from Chattanooga.

The sheriff’s office also said that one of the escapees had previously escaped from the facility.

The teens have a violent history of charges that include criminal homicide, aggravated robbery and theft of property.

Their names will not be released.

Deputies are searching the area and ask residents near the facility to ensure keys are removed from cars and that they are locked.

Anyone with any information regarding these escapees is urged to contact the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office at 901-465-3456.

This makes 13 youth detainees who have escaped the center since November 2020.

The Department of Children Services sent FOX13 a statement:

“The Department of Children’s Services is conducting an internal review into the escape of three juveniles from Wilder Youth Development Center overnight, a discovery that was made by staff during a 6:10 am headcount Wednesday.

Wilder staff members immediately notified local and state law enforcement officials, who are actively searching for the youth and have shared the youth’s information with the National Crime Information Center.

In addition to working closely with law enforcement, Wilder leaders are interviewing staff members and reviewing internal security footage to learn how the escape occurred.

Two youth are from Shelby County and the other is from Hamilton County. The Shelby County youth have records that include aggravated robbery, and the Hamilton youth was in custody on a charge of criminal homicide. Each is 17 years old.

State law does not allow the department to release their identities publicly.”

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