CHESTERFIELD, S.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Three inmates have escaped the Chesterfield County Detention Center since last November.

In the latest incident, a man accused of murder got out of the jail Saturday night. 

The Chesterfield County Sheriff says Emanuel Bedford wiggled through a small opening in a window lined with bars to escape from the detention center. 

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Bedford is accused of killing Diedre Reid back in September of 2021. James Reid is Diedre’s brother. The family visited the Sheriff’s office Monday, looking for answers on how Bedford got out. 

“Emanuel Bedford had nothing to lose but everything to gain,” James Reid said. “By him escaping, that just opened up a hole that just opened up another nightmare. It really feels like a Lifetime story that the family is going through.”

Sheriff Cambo Streater walked Queen City News through the jail where Bedford was held.

The Escape

Streater said Bedford was being held in a separate wing of the jail for his protection from other inmates who may have known Diedre Reid. Bedford asked to use the phone close to his cell Saturday night.

He never made a call.

The Sheriff says he used a door to escape the secured area, walked to a common area near a kitchen where he fit through a window with bars on it, and climbed over a barbed wire fence.

Bedford is 5’4″ and 130 pounds.

“As soon as we were notified, we got approximately 40 officers gathered up dogs, a helicopter, and we had a manhunt,” Sheriff Streater said. “A little less than four hours later, we had him in custody.”

Bedford was found in a pumphouse in someone’s backyard near a wooded area about 500 yards from the detention center, where bloodhounds sniffed him out. 

“We’re going to make whatever adjustments or corrections we have to make to ensure that this does not happen again,” Sheriff Streater said. “If it’s staffing issues or if there’s physical issues we’ve already addressed, possibly putting some more barbed wire in around the base of the fence.” 

Bedford is now in custody at the Chesterfield County Detention Center. Reid’s family continues searching for her body, hoping for a trial soon. 

“The kids are still looking for their mom to come home, which we know that’s impossible, now because of the action that Emanuel Bedford has taken,” James Reid said.

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Without going into details, the Sheriff did confirm that corrections officers would face disciplinary action for the moments leading up to Bedford’s escape. 

“He should have been watched when he was let out of his cell to make that phone call,” Sheriff Streater said. “We’re talking to corrections officers over there, interviewing them and finding out what happened where the ball was dropped to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.”