Tip from alert ISCC officer leads to escapees’ capture

sierra holds coffee gift card
Ofc. Sierra Hinojosa

An Idaho State Correctional Center officer is being credited with providing the tip that led to the capture of two inmates who walked away from South Boise Women’s Correctional Center. 

“Some gut feelings can’t be ignored,” says ISCC Ofc. Sierra Hinojosa. She was driving home from her shift Wednesday night when she spotted the women near the intersection of Pleasant Valley Road and Hollilyn Drive, about two-and-a- half miles north of SBWCC.

Hinojosa reported her hunch. Ada County Sheriff’s deputies took the women into custody shortly before 9 p.m., about three-and-a-half hours after they were reported missing.

“Sierra did everything right,” says ISCC Warden Jay Christensen. “She followed her instinct to check on it, be a good witness and provide an exact location.”

The inmates Kesha Lyric Kandler, 22, and Whitney Ann Wickwire, 19, were booked into the Ada County jail, charged with felony escape. 

Kandler was sentenced on Nov. 7, 2019, in Canyon County to at least one-and-half years in prison for possession of a controlled substance. The sentence was suspended, and she was ordered to participate in the Idaho Department of Correction’s retained jurisdiction program. She was scheduled to have completed the program on Nov. 6, 2020.

Wickwire was sentenced on July 15, 2019, in Kootenai County to at least two years in prison for possession of a stolen vehicle. The sentence was suspended, and she was released on probation.  She violated the terms of her probation, and on Oct. 28,2019, she was ordered to participate in IDOC’s retained jurisdiction program. She was scheduled to have completed the program on Oct. 27, 2020.

When Ofc. Hinojosa returned to work Thursday, Warden Christensen says he and her colleagues presented her with a coffee shop gift card “to assist in maintaining that awesome level of alertness that protected the citizens of Idaho in an extraordinary way last night.” 

Story published: 12/05/2019
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