Marshals join search for Scott inmate

U.S. marshals have joined the search for a Scott County inmate who escaped custody more than a week ago.

Nathan Pierce, 39, has crossed state lines, and he might be headed to Tennessee, said jail operations manager Michael Humphrey.

Pierce is from La Follette, Tenn., and has friends and family there. Humphrey said Pierce was in the Dayton, Ohio, area a few days ago and made a call to someone there from a cell phone.

Humphrey said Pierce could be traveling in a stolen vehicle.

Pierce was painting a door at the Scott County jail when he walked off the property about 1:45 a.m. July 4. Some inmates were helping with odd jobs while other inmates were temporarily being housed at other facilities because the boiler at the jail was broken.

The deputy watching Pierce turned to help another inmate with a question, and Pierce walked away.

"We do not believe he initially planned it," Humphrey said. "We think it was just an escape of opportunity."

Pierce was being held on first-degree robbery, kidnapping and drug charges, Humphrey said.