Iowa Escapee Arrested In Region 8

November 18, 2005--Posted at 6:27 PM CST

STEELE, MO--A second inmate who escaped from an Iowa prison is captured in Region 8. Robert Joseph Legendre and Martin Moon escaped from the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison, IA Monday afternoon. They used rope fashioned from upholstery to scale the prison wall near an unmanned guard tower. Both went their separate ways.

Moon was arrested yesterday in Chester, IL. That left investigators searching for Legendre. He was last seen in St. Louis and police now know his next stop was Marston, MO.

Legendre had just stolen his second car in Marston, which is in New Madrid County Missouri. From there he continued southbound on I-55 and realized he had a problem. He was low on gas.

Hollie Goodale works at the B.P. truck stop in Steele, MO. Legendre asked for her help.

Goodale said, "He seemed really friendly. He was like any other person that comes in here."

But Legendre's luck would run out.

"I recognized him right off the bat. The glasses gave him away. The big glasses," said Jeremy Burton, who identified Legendre.

Friday morning was just like any other morning for Burton. The Steele resident always gets coffee at the B.P. on his way to work. Except this morning he ran into a escaped convict.

Burton said, "He said hey, can I borrow some money from you to get to work? And I thought well it is kind of weird. He was driving a late model truck that looked fairly new. I thought why would a guy driving a truck like this need gas money to get to work?"

Burton called his cousin who is a Missouri State Highway patrolman. Steele Police Chief Michael Tomlinson was dispatched to make the arrest.

Chief Tomlinson said, "I walked up to him, handcuffed him and then placed him into the patrol car."

Chief Tomlinson didn't know for sure that the man he arrested was the escapee because Legendre had given him false identification.

"I called the Sheriffs office by phone and they said that he was our escapee that we were looking for from Iowa. And I was like that's great," said Tomlinson.

So did Jeremy Burton feel like a hero??

"Oh no, I am not a hero. He was in the wrong place and I was in the right place at the right time," said Burton.

Legendre will be extradited to Iowa next week.