Police in West Virginia have launched a manhunt for an Inmate described by authorities as "armed and dangerous," who managed to walk out of jail and escape, CBS News reported. What is even more puzzling to Virginia police, is that the inmate was discovered missing 36 hours later, giving him a comfortable head start. According to a statement released by the West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety, 44-year-old Todd Wayne Boyes managed to get his hands on civilian clothes and stroll out of Central Regional Jail in Charleston, West Virginia.

Authorities at the jail realized Boyes was missing on Thursday at 7 pm. When CCTV footage of the facility was reviewed, it was discovered that Boyes had escaped on Wednesday, at 6 am. During that time, two informal overnight headcounts and three formal headcounts had been conducted at the jail, but no one seemed to notice that an inmate was missing.

Awaiting charges

On Friday, Boyes was due to appear in court for a sentencing of between three to 20 years, for a guilty plea he entered for endangering the safety of others, fleeing from police custody, causing bodily injury, and being in possession of a stolen vehicle. Boyes had initially been charged with attempted murder, after ramming his car into a police officer's patrol car.

The charge was dropped in a plea deal that saw the new charges take its place.

A spokesman for the West Virginia Police Department, Sgt Leslie Goldie, said Boyes had a long history of carjacking people at gunpoint. The charges he was due to be sentenced for, were from a carjacking he was involved in, that led to a car chase with Ohio police in 2016.

When he realized he was cornered, Boyes rammed his car into a police officer's vehicle in a bid to escape, injuring the officer in the process. It took a bullet to his hand to stop him.

Investigation on headcount protocol

It is still unclear how Boyes managed to escape the attention of jail staff immediately after the first headcount was conducted, which begs the question, was proper headcount protocol observed?

An investigation has been launched at the facility to determine how Boyes was able to escape, without raising any suspicions, and why the discovery of his escape took so long to be noticed. Four officers who were on duty during that period have been suspended without pay, pending the outcome of the investigation, according to the Department's statement. Police say Boyes was last seen wearing khaki pants and a dark green/gray zip-up jacket. He is 5 ft, 6 inches tall, clean-shaven, bald, and weighs 220 pounds.