Escapee continues to avoid capture

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LIBERTY COUNTY, Texas – One month after slipping out of the Liberty County jail, a convicted thief remains on the run.

Phillip Henry Freeman was just days from being transferred to a state prison when he escaped from jail on Oct. 13. Freeman worked in the jail's kitchen, and sheriff's officials said they still aren't certain how he escaped.

One of the only confirmed sightings of Freeman since his escape came from a hunter's camera at deer lease off County Road 2309. Sheriff's officials said they believe Freeman had been roaming the area for some time, as hunters reported items stolen from their camps and the memory cards missing from their cameras.

However, Freeman missed one camera, and it captured a photograph of the fugitive. Sheriff's officials believe the image was taken sometime between Oct. 25 - 27. Despite a massive search of the area, Freeman was not found.

"Undoubtedly, he knows these woods pretty good," said resident "Bear" Novosad. "Just the way he's getting around without anybody seeing him."

Sheriff's officials said they don't believe Freeman has any particular survival skills helping him stay on the run, but he has been known to hop the rails to get from place to place. Even though sheriff's officials said Freeman has no history of violence, he does a prior record for theft, resisting arrest and public intoxication. His recent conviction was for burglarizing a house.

"I get concerned about it," said resident Terry Camp. "There's a lot of spots to hide, because there's a lot of woods here."

Novosad said he thinks it would be a mistake for Freeman to keep moving through the woods now that deer season has started.

"If he's smart, he'll stay out of the woods," said Novosad. "(Because) he might get shot."

Anyone with information about Freeman's whereabouts is asked to call the Liberty County Sheriff's Office at 936-336-4500 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-392-7867.