ROWAN COUNTY, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - The search continues for two missing Florida inmates who escaped jail and were last known to be in Statesville, according to the Rowan County Sheriff's Office. The two escaped inmates may be armed.
Deputies said on Monday, Nov. 20, they received a tip that one of three fugitives from a jail in Wakulla County, Florida was spotted at a home in Rockwell.
Deputies responded to the home and were able to take Casey Brandon Martina into custody. They said a stolen Jeep Cherokee from Virginia was also found. Investigators from Florida then joined Rowan County detectives in the search for the other two fugitives.
During the course of this investigation, detectives determined that before Martina’s arrest a 2007 Pacifica recreational vehicle was stolen from the Peeler Road area of Rowan County. All three of the Florida fugitives are believed to have been involved.
Investigators said they believe the recreational vehicle was taken out of state, and attempts to locate this vehicle continue in Virginia. The investigation also produced evidence that the three fugitives were involved in several property crimes in Georgia, Virginia and Rowan County, North Carolina.
The remaining two fugitives, Donald James Cotterman and Joel Teraill Cooper, are possibly in possession of stolen firearms, and were both in Rowan County at one point, investigators believe. They were last together with Martina in Statesville, North Carolina, before Martina’s arrest.
Cooper and Cotterman are possibly operating a white commercial work truck with unknown Georgia registration, and are possibly fleeing west out of North Carolina.
Detectives have obtained felony larceny charges in Rowan County for both Cooper and Cotterman. Martina remains in the Rowan County Jail.
Anyone with information about the location of these fugitives is asked to contact Lt. Chad Moose (704) 216-8687 or Detective Nate Phillips (704) 216-8684 with the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office or the Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office in Florida at (850) 745-7100.