Sex offender convicted in Topeka caught after nearly 3 months on the run

Local News

John Freeman Colt (Courtesy Barton County Sheriff’s Office)

KANSAS CITY (KSNW) – A sex offender convicted in Topeka and on the run from a Kansas hospital for nearly three months has been caught after the U.S. Marshals got involved, according to investigators in the state.

The Pawnee County Attorney’s Office said 42-year-old John Freeman Colt has been caught. Law enforcement released more details on his capture that can be found by clicking the link below.

Colt escaped June 30 from Larned State Hospital. When state investigators failed to find him by the two-month mark since his escape, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation said the U.S. Marshals took the lead in the search for the runaway sex offender.

The Pawnee County Attorney said in July that during the handling of Colt’s escape, there was a “5 1/2 hour delay between Colt leaving the facility and law enforcement first being notified.” The neighboring Barton County sheriff took that comment a step further and criticized the handling of the situation, saying it “placed the citizens of Kansas at risk.”

Court records say a Shawnee County judge convicted him of aggravated sexual battery and aggravated burglary in 2001 against a woman of unspecified age in Topeka. He served five years in state prison for aggravated sexual battery, attempted rape, aggravated burglary, and four counts of aggravated battery against law enforcement. He was required to register as a sexual offender for the remainder of his life.

After his criminal sentence was completed, the State of Kansas courts deemed him a sexually violent predator at high risk to commit a future sex offense and too dangerous to be released.

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Photos released by the U.S. Marshals indicated John Freeman Colt was able to acquire a motorcycle after escaping the hospital, and changed his appearance to throw off people looking for him. (Courtesy Photos/U.S. Marshals Service)

Investigators believe Colt planned his escape several months in advance, obtaining a replica of a staff ID
badge and dress clothes. The morning of his escape he shaved off his long hair and beard. He put blankets under his bed covers making it appear he was still in bed sleeping. He was then able to convince a new staff worker (that he targeted) that he was in fact a new doctor and needed help finding his way out. Posing as a doctor, Colt was able to make his way past five secured doors and ultimately outside the gates.

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