ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – The correctional officers assigned to guard a convicted child sex predator, who escaped custody by walking out of a hospital, are no longer employed by the department.

Tommy Wayne Boyd‘s mad dash for freedom ultimately ended around 8 p.m. on Thursday, nearly 16 hours after walking out the doors of Mercy Hospital South.

“He had quite a bit of lead time,” St. Louis County Police Lieutenant Colonel Jason Law said.

Law said officers set up a perimeter but realized Boyd may be in the South City area after a good Samaritan gave him a ride to the area of Chippewa and Arsenal.

“They didn’t know each other. The gentleman was just being a nice person trying to help somebody out,” Law said.

Law said the good Samaritan called police after realizing Boyd had been at the center of a county-wide alert.

Authorities took no chances Thursday, immediately labeling Boyd as “dangerous,” because of his two-time child sex crime convictions.

As photos of the 45-year-old started being shared more and more, possible sightings started being called in, one near Tower Grove Park.

“There was a political event going on of some sort where they were registering voters,” Law said. “He contacted those folks during the event. They were giving out food and obtained a hot dog.”

Officers searched the park, but Boyd had already left. County police are still trying to piece together a timeline of where he went.

Boyd was captured several hours later at a shopping center off Watson Road after someone spotted him and dialed 911.

“This person did an outstanding job of telling us where he was. We were able to respond and take him into custody,” Law said. “He had a black coat with a handcuff key.”

A handcuff key?

The FOX Files requested an interview with the Missouri Department of Corrections, but the agency said no one was available for an interview. No one was available the day before either.

Missouri Department of Corrections Communications Director Karen Pojmann wrote in a statement Friday that the correctional officers involved are no longer employed.

“While the Missouri Department of Corrections has a strict protocol in place for transportation and supervision of offenders receiving hospital care, our investigation has concluded that departmental protocol was not followed regarding offender Boyd at Mercy Hospital South,” Pojmann wrote.

So, how did Boyd escape? What’s the general policy when it comes to guarding a prisoner at a hospital? We may never know.

In a statement, Pojmann wrote that it’s protected information.

“Personnel records and security-related investigation reports are confidential, so I am not able to provide them to you,” Pojmann wrote.

St. Louis County Police provided regular updates on social media during Thursday’s manhunt, including various photos of Boyd and issued alerts throughout the day.

As for the Department of Corrections’ social media accounts, they posted a positive public relations video about one of their units and a photo of what their new employee cafe looks like. There were no Facebook posts about Boyd or Thursday’s situation until Friday morning.

Pojmann wrote the posts were pre-scheduled.

“I am currently out of the state, with limited communications access; that’s the reason for any oversight or missteps regarding more effective use of social media for Boyd’s apprehension,” Pojmann wrote. “We are grateful to the fellow government agencies and news media who assisted in notifying the public.”

In a statement, Mercy Hospital South said it’s their top priority to provide a safe environment for patients receiving medical care.

“Mercy followed its policies and procedures and relies on the department of corrections to keep inmates contained while on our campus, which did not occur in this case,” a spokesperson said.