Lansing escapee reportedly seen in downtown Kansas City - KCTV5

Lansing escapee reportedly seen in downtown Kansas City

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

A convicted sex offender on the loose might have been spotted downtown. Police have been searching for Gary Leslie Furthmyer, 59, since he escaped from a Lansing prison last month.

Authorities said the fugitive was seen along Eighth Street in the downtown area where many homeless men can be seen walking the streets. One worker at a homeless shelter nearby believes he has seen the prison escapee recently.

"I recognize the face, absolutely," Brian Duncan said.

Duncan, one of the managers at the City Union Mission Homeless Shelter, is certain he has crossed paths with Furthmyer, who is on the run from the law.

"I don't remember the last time I saw him, but I do a lot of ministry along Independence Avenue and this area so he's around here somewhere," he said.

Duncan's not sure if he saw Furthmyer at the shelter simply getting a free meal or possibly wandering the streets.

Furthmyer escaped from the Lansing prison on April 18. He took off from a job site at the prison's steam plant and has been missing ever since. He was serving a sentence for indecent liberties with a child and aggravated failure to appear. His crime involved a 5-year-old girl in the Wichita area.

Dennis Chapman with the City Union Mission said the shelter gets frequent visits from law enforcement looking for wanted people.

"These are more than just daily occurrences. You know, there may be one or two every day. Either the local authorities or those outside the area that are looking for folks come to the shelters to make sure that they're not trying to hide out here, and so we cooperate every chance we get to let them know if someone is here," Chapman said.

Late Friday afternoon, U.S. Marshal officers went to a mobile park community in Bonner Springs, KS, on a tip that Furthmyer could be there, but they searched the area and did not find him.

At the City Union Mission, the fugitive's picture is now up at the security office in case he is still in the downtown area and decides to drop in.

"We'll have his picture up on bulletin board and, if he comes around here, we'll contact the authorities," Duncan said.

Furthmyer, who also goes by Frank Schell, was convicted in 1986 for indecent liberties with a 5-year-old girl in the Wichita area. KCTV5 asked if any of the children who get help from the homeless shelter could be in danger. Mission officials said that's not possible because women and children stay at a separate shelter from the men and the buildings are a mile apart.

If you have any information about where Furthmyer could be hiding, call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS.

Click here for previous coverage on this story.

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