Exclusive video: Five juveniles escape from Wilder Center are still on the run


FAYETTE COUNTY, Tenn. — Security camera video appears to show five juveniles, possibly the escapees from the Wilder Youth Development Center in Fayette County.

A multi-agency search has been underway since they were reported missing Saturday morning. But information from the state about the juveniles has been very limited.

The owner of the business, who did not want to be interviewed, said the video was taken Saturday morning around 1:40, and all appear to be wearing face coverings.

Since their escape, the Department of Children’s Services, which operates Wilder, has declined to give their names or provide a picture because they are juveniles, but people who live near Wilder said that is a problem.

“The fact that nothing else has been said as to whether they caught them or in which direction they’re going, kind of concerns me,” said Bridget Brown, who lives near Wilder.

DCS did report Monday that between them, the five have records of serious crimes, including second degree murder, aggravated robbery and carjacking. WREG-TV reached out to DCS and asked if they are aware of the video, and were told to contact the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office which is handling the investigation.

Fayette County detectives are reviewing the video but have not determined these are the five escapees. Security cameras on more than one building along a stretch of Highway 64 recorded the same five passing.

While it is not confirmed these are the missing juveniles, Brown said security at Wilder needs to be investigated.

“They might need to look into the security they have and see how it happened and upgrade, up the security as far as them being able to get out,” Brown said.

A vehicle was reported stolen Saturday morning from a business on Highway 64. Fayette County officials said none of the escapees are from Fayette County.

DCS said there is an internal investigation underway into how the five escaped.

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