UPDATE: Manhunt continues for escaped inmate - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Thurston Co., NE officials continue manhunt for escaped inmate

Posted:
Call 402-385-0177 with any information about 39-year-old Mark David Kuehn. Call 402-385-0177 with any information about 39-year-old Mark David Kuehn.
Thurston County Courthouse in Pender, Nebraska. Thurston County Courthouse in Pender, Nebraska.
PENDER, Neb. (KTIV/US92) -

A man hunt is still underway for an inmate who escaped Wednesday morning from the jail in Thurston County, Nebraska.

The county jail is just a few blocks from Pender Schools.  The news caused schools there and in Wayne to lock down.

Authorities say in the early morning hours, Mark Kuehn of Stanton County found a way to break out of the Thurston County jail in Pender.

Word went out to law enforcement shortly after 8:00 a.m. and that triggered a massive manhunt in the town of 1,200 people in Northeast Nebraska.

Kuehn is being held in Thurston County after his conviction in Stanton County on two counts of felony theft related to two work trailers filled with tools that were stolen in Stanton earlier this year.

He's got a long rap sheet.  Kuehn's is a convicted sex offender and has had several other convictions in northeast Nebraska for things like burglary and possession of a controlled substance.

Stanton County Sheriff Mike Unger said, "Kuehn's facing some serious prison time.  He was convicted recently and was facing sentencing.  And now, with this escape charge and probably another habitual charge, he could be looking at spending the rest of his life behind bars."

Shortly before 3:00 p.m., a special law enforcement task force from southeast Nebraska arrived in Pender with members of the U.S. Marshals Service.

They began canvassing the area around the courthouse in Pender, walking the perimeter with large guns, looking for Mark Kuehn.

The search is expected to last into the night and on Thursday too.

Authorities say the 39-year-old Kuehn may have headed to the Stanton area.  He's about 5'3" and weighs 130 pounds.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call the Thurston County Jail at (402) 385-0177.

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