Tip line established as search for two offenders continues

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Rockport man convicted of rape escapes from Indiana State Prison

By The Staff

MICHIGAN CITY - Two prison escapees, including a convicted rapist who lived in Spencer County before being convicted, remained at large Friday after he and two others escaped from the maximum-security Indiana State Prison in Michigan City.

Aa tipline has been established at (800) 782-7463 or at www.wetip.com.  Anyone reporting information can remain anonymous.

Indiana Department of Correction officials said Lance Battreal of Rockport, Charles Smith and Mark Booher were discovered missing at 10 a.m. July 12. Smith was captured Monday in Michigan. He and Booher, both from New Castle, were serving time for murder.

Battreal, 45, was sentenced in 1998 for raping a 16-year-old Reitz High School student, the Associated Press reported last week, and wasn't scheduled to be released until 2047.

He was also serving a 20-year sentence for criminal confinement and three years for stalking. Smith, 48, was sentenced in 1999 to 95 years for murder and was not eligible for release until 2045. Booher, 46, was sentenced in 1999 to 65 years for murder and 20 years for robbery. He was not eligible for release until 2041.

Battreal may have recently cut his hair or shaved his head, officials said.

Department of Correction officials said the three men likely escaped by accessing tunnels and pipe chases underneath the facility.

Spencer County Sheriff Kermit Lindsey said his department, as well as state police, were alerted by state officials after the escape. Battreal has family in the county and police are on alert should the man make his way to the area.

Both men are considered very dangerous.

Anyone with information on the two mens' whereabout should call 911 or the tip line.