SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) – An escaped prisoner reached out to his brother as the manhunt intensified Christmas Eve for that convicted child molester. Ray Roberts tells KSLA News 12 that his brother Bryan Roberts would only confirm he's in Bossier City.
Ray Roberts said his brother sounded scared over the phone, but showed little interest in turning himself in after escaping from the Forcht Wade Correctional Center in Keithville earlier in the day.
Deputy Warden Anthony Batson told us in a phone interview, "anybody that sees him or they're aware of him or anything I would suggest that they contact their local law enforcement agency in their area (or) notify the institution directly at 318-925-7101."
But Ray Roberts said he's afraid of what could happen when the authorities find his older brother. "I don't want them to shoot him, hurt him, you know, he's not going to hurt nobody. He's not violent."
The search for Roberts began after guards couldn't find him in his living quarters inside Forcht Wade Correctional Center, in southwest Caddo Parish. That was 11 a.m. Thursday morning. Two and a half hours later, prison officials began to alert the media.
We wanted to know why there was a delay in notifying the public. Batson explained, "what we wanted to do was to make sure that he was not hiding somewhere in the prison so we wanted to make a thorough inspection of the perimeter and we got everything in place before you know, we worked our way out to the notification process."
Prison officials are also investigating the three deliveries made to the prison, two of which went to the kitchen where Roberts had worked before his disappearance. One possible theory involves his escape on one of those delivery trucks.
Ray Roberts insists his brother is innocent and may have grown impatient with efforts for a new trial after serving at least 3-years of a 20-year sentence for the molestation of his ex-girlfriend's two kids. "She recanted to my mother. But she told my mother she's scared to tell them that she lied because she's scared she will go to jail," claimed Ray Roberts.
But sources confirm to KSLA News 12 that a Caddo Parish district judge sentenced Bryan Roberts to 20-years behind bars because he's a habitual sex offender.
One eyewitness called us after our KSLA News 12 at 6 broadcast on Thursday night and said he may have actually had a conversation with Roberts inside the Brookshire's grocery store on Kings Highway in Shreveport, and said the man talked about going to Bossier City, as well. We'll keep you posted.