Search for juvenile home escapee moves closer to Quad Cities area

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Police say a teen, who escaped from an Iowa home for delinquent youth, stole a gun and a truck in Muscatine and he could be headed to the Davenport area.

Fredlee Bateman, 15, was one of eight residents who were being taken from the gymnasium to their cottages when they ran into nearby woods to escape the Eldora State Training School for Boys in Eldora, Iowa on Thursday, April 10, 2014.

Five of the teens were captured within an hour of their disappearance, and three remained at large.

Police said they think Bateman was the driver at the wheel of a stolen vehicle they tried to stop for traveling 71 miles per hour in a 55 zone near Mulberry Avenue and U.S. Highway 61 in Muscatine just after 2 p.m. Saturday, April 12.  The driver reportedly reached speeds up to 110 m.p.h. before colliding with another vehicle in traffic near Oakview Drive and U.S. 61.  The driver fled on foot.

Police said they spent nearly four hours searching for him, but Bateman remained on the loose.

Police think Bateman was also the person who stole a rifle with no ammunition and a red 2007 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck, with Iowa license plate 015 WKA, from a home about a mile north of the crash scene in Muscatine.  The theft was reported just after 1 p.m. Sunday, April 13, and the truck still had not been located as of Monday afternoon, April 14.

Bateman has ties to Davenport, Iowa, according to Muscatine County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy C.J. Ryan.

Bateman, 15, was described as black, 5-feet 9-inches tall and he weighs 130 pounds.

Anyone who sees Bateman or the stolen truck should call 911 immediately.


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