UPDATE: Escaped murderer may be in Jeep with 2 women

NELSONVILLE, Ohio (AP) — An inmate serving time for the murder of a Cleveland woman escaped from an Ohio prison, provoking a manhunt Monday and the closure of a nearby college.

John Modie was reported missing during a Sunday night prisoner count at the Hocking Unit of the Southeastern Correctional Complex in Nelsonville, state prison officials said. Authorities said Monday that a thorough search of the prison confirmed that Modie had escaped.

Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader issued a bulletin that Modie might be in a gold Jeep Grand Cherokee in the company of two women. He said the three are possibly headed south or toward neighboring Ross County. The bulletin says Modie should have cuts from razor wire and that he should be considered armed and dangerous.

Guards discovered the 58-year-old Modie missing Sunday night during a prisoner check. He is serving a sentence of 18 years to life after being convicted in 2003 of killing a woman in Cleveland.

Modie is white, 6-foot-4 inches tall and around 230 pounds. He has gray hair and a gray mustache and was last seen wearing a blue hoodie, gray sweat shirt and blue pants.

Hocking College in Nelsonville, which is about 2 miles from the prison, closed all its campuses Monday as a result of the escape, according to its website. The school urged those on campus to remain indoors and report any suspicious activity to Hocking College police.

Modie was serving 18 years to life for convictions on murder, robbery and escape charges, according to the state’s release. Prison officials said they had no additional details on his convictions.

Modie was convicted of fatally beating a 26-year-old Cleveland woman and dumping her body behind an abandoned factory in 2002, The Columbus Dispatch reported.

Authorities also were asking for the public’s assistance in reporting anything suspicious to law enforcement. They said they suspect he may seek shelter considering storms that passed through overnight.

He was convicted in Cuyahoga County in northeast Ohio, but has some family ties in southeast Ohio, authorities said.