By Philip Jankowski

Killeen Daily Herald

An inmate at the Bell County Jail Annex in downtown Belton escaped Friday morning, leading Bell County Sheriff Dan Smith to call for an internal investigation of the incident.

Authorities are searching for Shawn David Miller, 39. He is described as 5-feet-10-inches tall, 200 pounds with red hair and a beard. He was last seen running west from the jail annex wearing a green inmate uniform and barefoot.

He was in custody on a charge of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and a motion to revoke his probation from a previous conviction for driving while intoxicated, according to a press release from the Bell County Sheriff's Office.

All other inmates are accounted for, the release states.

Authorities have detained Miller's stepson, who they say had knowledge of the escape plan, though he denied playing a role in Miller's escape, the release states. The stepson was detained on warrants from Harker Heights.

The sheriff's department did not release the name of Miller's stepson.

Miller apparently escaped from the annex roof, despite a perimeter fence.

Authorities said they were perplexed as to precisely how he did it.

"It is unclear at this time as to how he was able to accomplish this without detection," the release states.

The roof is normally used as an exercise area by inmates.

A preliminary investigation indicated another inmate may have purposefully distracted a jailer station on the roof-top while Miller made his escape, the release states.

The sheriff's office is also conducting an investigation into the policies, procedures, staff activity and inmate involvement in the escape, the release states.

Miller was brought to Bell County Jail on Sept. 21. The jail annex has a capacity of 183 inmates and a current population of 137, according to the release.

Miller has no previous history of dangerous or violent activity. The sheriff's office has charged him with escape.

The Bell County Jail Annex is located at 110 West Central Avenue in downtown Belton. It houses inmates designated as low risk who are charge with low-level, non-violent offenses.

Contact Philip Jankowski at or (254) 501-7553. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcrime.

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