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Warning to Friends & Family in Iowa

Search in Iowa for Two Escaped Killers

Tuesday, November 15, 2005
DES MOINES, Iowa — Two convicted murderers have escaped from the maximum security portion of the Iowa State Penitentiary, jail officials said.

Martin Shane Moon, 34, and Robert Joseph Legendre, 27, were last seen at 7 p.m. Monday. Their whereabouts are unknown and officials are investigating how they escaped, said Ron Welder, spokesman for the Penitentiary in Fort Madison.

“It’s too early to speculate,” he said.

Legendre and Moon were serving life sentences for murder.

Welder said authorities in Iowa, Illinois and Missouri have been alerted and more than 30 officers and canines were initially ordered to search the area.

Gov. Tom Vilsack on Monday night offered further aid, including state troopers and aircraft to assist in the search. He also requested that amber alert strategies be implemented to warn Iowa residents of the situation.

The inmates were working inside penitentiary walls for Iowa State Industries when the escape occurred, Welder said.

Fort Madison police reported a stolen 1995 gold Pontiac Bonneville with Iowa plates 776-NOW. They said they are unsure whether Moon and Legendre are responsible for the theft.

Legendre was convicted of kidnapping and murder in the state of Nevada and was transferred to Iowa in December 2004. No other details of his crime were immediately available.

Moon was convicted in Clarke County and sent to prison in 2000 for the 1990 shooting of his roommate, Kevin Dickson.

According to court records, Moon, Dickson and others traveled to an abandoned farmhouse near Winterset, allegedly to meet a drug dealer. Dickson was shot and killed at the farmhouse.

Moon is a white male, 6 feet, 185 pounds with green eyes and brown hair. Legendre is a white male, 5 feet, 11 inches, 178 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.

More information will be released Tuesday morning, officials said.

The Iowa State Penitentiary was opened in 1839 and is the state’s only maximum-security institution. It can hold up to 550 inmates.

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