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Authorities search for inmate accused of stealing van

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Christopher Hunt

HOUSTON, Mo. – Authorities are searching for a southern Missouri inmate who is accused of overpowering a guard and stealing a jail transport van.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Cody Fulkerson says 33-year-old Christopher Hunt was being transported in the Texas County van around 10:20 a.m. Monday when he escaped. The unarmed guard was the only person aboard and wasn’t hurt.

The escape happened after Hunt pleaded guilty to tampering with a motor vehicle in Phelps County, where his case was heard on a change of venue. The van was abandoned near where it was stolen in Phelps County, with Hunt’s jail uniform found in a vacant home.

Fulkerson says Hunt has a violent history and is considered dangerous. Hunt has numerous tattoos, including one that reads “tough times” on his hands.