Search for escapee continues late into night

ROARING BRANCH – As darkness fell Tuesday, an manhunt was underway for Lycoming County Prison pre-release escapee Jarrett Houser, who was believed to have last been spotted early Tuesday evening along Ellenton Mountain Road in McNett Township, according to reports.

Sheriff deputies from Lycoming and Bradford counties as well as state troopers and other law enforcement officers were trying to flush the 38-year-old out of dense, mountainous terrain.

It is believed that Houser broke into a cabin at the Buckskin Lodge Sportsmen Club in the 3000 block of Ellenton Mountain Road, according to reports.

Police discovered a pair of what was believed to be the inmate’s boots and socks inside the cabin.

A state police helicopter crew from Latrobe with night-vision equipment arrived in the region to assist with the search shortly after 9 p.m.

A tracking police dog from Towanda was expected to arrive by 10 p.m.

Houser, described as white, 5 feet-10 inches tall and weighing 180 pounds, last was seen wearing a blue shirt, green pants, a bandanna and was believed to be carrying a camouflage backpack.

There were reports that Houser also may have burglarized a second cabin in the area.

Houser, of 2411 Lycoming Creek Road, and fellow pre-release center inmate Christophy Victor Pettit, 24, of 400 Glenwood Ave., fled the county prison facility on the night of Sept. 29.

Pettit was captured early Monday morning on Northway Road in Loyalsock Township while in possession of a stolen all-terrain vehicle.

Automatically jailed at the Lycoming County Prison, he was arraigned Tuesday before District Judge Gary A. Whiteman on a misdemeanor escape charge filed by county Detective Stephen J. Sorage and recommitted in lieu of $1 million bail.

Tuesday night’s search for Houser followed a similar extensive search during the day when police officers focused much of their attention for the inmate in the area of Pleasant Valley and Rose Valley roads in Hepburn Township.