Franklin County, Pa., fugitive eludes police in W.Va.

August 03, 2010
  • James William Vrzick

FALLING WATERS, W.Va. -- A 21-year-old escapee from the Franklin County, Pa., Jail was spotted in Berkeley County Tuesday but eluded police, according to the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department.

Police received information that James William Vrzick was staying in an Econo Lodge motel at 5595 Hammonds Mill Road, according to a news release.

At about 11:30 a.m., officers from the sheriff's department, the West Virginia State Police and the U.S. Marshal's Service went to a room at the motel where Vrzick had been staying and found two people, but not Vrzick, police said.

Police believe Vrzick left shortly before police arrived, the release said.

About 20 minutes later, authorities observed Vrzick on Lazy Lane off Koontztown Road near Falling Waters and he retreated into the woods, the release said.

Police dog units from the sheriff's department and the Harpers Ferry Police Department responded, but Vrzick could not be found after an extensive search, the release said. A Maryland State Police helicopter was also used in the search, police said.


Police believe Vrzick might have gotten a ride from the area.

Vrzick, who failed to return from a Franklin County Jail work-release job in the Chambersburg, Pa., area Saturday morning, was incarcerated July 2 for a parole violation on a charge of receiving stolen property, said Warden John Wetzel of the Franklin County Jail. Vrzick has about 16 months left on his parole, Wetzel said.

Vrzick, whose last known address is in Falling Waters, is described as being about 5 feet 10 inches tall, with green eyes and brown hair. He was last seen wearing a white, striped shirt and dark blue jeans, police said.

Anyone with information about Vrzick can call the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department at 304-267-7000 or West Virginia State Police at 304-267-0000.

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