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RPD: Fugitive trying to change appearance

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Days after he fled from the Roswell Police station, a California fugitive has tried to change his appearance and might be trying to get out of New Mexico, according to police.

Austin Cyrus Medford (Submitted Photo)

Austin Cyrus Medford, 23, of Fresno, California, has attempted to cut his hair and shave his beard and might be trying to meet up with a woman who is either his wife or his girlfriend in an effort to leave the state, according to a message posted Monday on the Roswell Police Department’s Facebook page.

Todd Wildermuth, public information officer with the RPD, said law enforcement has received several tips about Medford’s location, which they continue to investigate.

A poster from the U.S. Marshals Service, reposted on the RPD Facebook page, describes Medford as 5 feet, 10 inches tall and 160 pounds with brown eyes and red or auburn hair. He has four tattoos: one on his right cheek, one on his left hand, one on his right arm, and another on a location on his face that was not specified.

Chaves County Crime Stoppers are offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information that can lead to Medford’s capture. Individuals with information should contact the RPD at 575-624-6770 or Crime Stoppers at 1-888-594-TIPS (8477).

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Medford was arrested Nov. 17 in Roswell on an outstanding arrest warrant out of California, where he faces charges of kidnapping, robbery, car jacking and making terrorist threats. He was being held at the Chaves County Detention Center pending extradition, according to documents filed Thursday in Chaves County Magistrate Court.

Wednesday afternoon, Medford fled the Police Department located at 128 West 2nd Street after he was brought there for questioning by detectives from Fresno. When the interview concluded, Medford was escorted by a police officer down to the booking area, placed in a holding cell and handcuffed to a bench.

The officer briefly left the booking area, but when he returned he found that Medford and the handcuffs he was wearing were gone. According to court documents, the handle on an exterior door to the booking area sustained $400 in damage.

A search of the premises was conducted for Medford, but he was not found.

Surveillance video from a camera in the booking area later showed Medford exiting the Department through the damaged door at 4:20 p.m, court documents state. He was at the time wearing a blue outfit issued to him as an inmate of the Chaves County Detention Center.

A warrant for Medford’s arrest was obtained in New Mexico’s 5th Judicial District court Thursday. In addition to the charges out of California, Medford is now wanted on one count of escape or attempted escape from a peace officer, and criminal damage to property.

RPD on Thursday received information that at noon that day Medford was seen crossing North Washington Avenue and heading west on the New Mexico Military Institute’s golf course.

Police on Thursday also obtained video surveillance footage from an unspecified location that is purported to show Medford dressed in a red skirt and black top with a shirt or scarf wrapped around his head and carrying a pink purse.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301 or breakingnews@rdrnews.com.

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