Prison inmate escapee still at large near Mount Shasta

Skye Kinkade
LePaul Gardner walked away from a work crew near McCloud Avenue in Mount Shasta on June 4, 2014 around 3 p.m.

By Skye Kinkade

A state prisoner who walked away from work detail near McCloud Avenue in Mount Shasta yesterday is still at large.

Special Agent Paris with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said there are “no hot leads,” and the investigation is centering around the area LePaul Gardner was last seen.

If the public sees Gardner, age 27, they are asked to call the Mount Shasta Police Department at 530-926-7540 or 911 immediately.

Gardner was working with the Intermountain Conservation Camp on a fuel break around the city of Mount Shasta when he escaped around 3 p.m. on June 4, according to a press release from the Mount Shasta Police.

He was last seen shortly after the fire crew exited their “Crew Carrying Vehicle” for custody transition back to camp, said CDCR Lt. Charles Gilmore.

“After a quick search, staff determined inmate Gardner was missing,” he said.

Gardner is 5’6”, 130 pounds, with short dark hair and brown eyes. He has a noticeable limp and may be wearing orange camp-issued shirt and pants. He may also have gray and/or white thermals and could be carrying a green backpack containing wildland fire gear.

Gardner was convicted May 9, 2013, of assault with a firearm in Los Angeles County, and sentenced to five years in prison, said California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokesperson Bill Sessa.

He was scheduled to be released in July of 2017, and had been assigned to Intermountain Conservation Camp near Bieber, which houses approximately 80 minimum-custody inmates, said Gilmore.

All inmates on a project like this one would have earned minimum security status, said Sessa, though it’s “unfortunate he chose to walk away.”

The CDCR, as well as CAL FIRE investigators, the California Highway Patrol, Siskiyou County Sheriffs Department and Mount Shasta Police Department are working to locate Gardner, Sessa said.