Police: Man escapes work release program, kidnaps girlfriend - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Police: Man escapes work release program, kidnaps girlfriend

Updated:
Christopher Ricker, 35 was scheduled to be released from jail in October. (Source: TPSO) Christopher Ricker, 35 was scheduled to be released from jail in October. (Source: TPSO)
Christopher Ricker, 35 (Source: STPSO) Christopher Ricker, 35 (Source: STPSO)
LORANGER, LA (WVUE) -

A prisoner in a the St. Tammany Parish work release program escaped from officers this morning and allegedly kidnapped a woman from her Covington workplace.

Tangipahoa, St. Tammany Parish deputies and Covington police are searching for Christopher Ricker, 35, in the Loranger area near Cherokee Beach.

Ricker left the north shore Workforce program facility around 4 a.m. 

Investigators say they received a call from a woman around 8:30 a.m.  She said Ricker abducted her from the store she works at.  He allegedly took her to Tangipahoa Parish before letting her out of his 1999 blue Toyota Camry on Wardline Rd.  Police believe the woman was Ricker's girlfriend.

Deputies found Ricker driving on Hwy. 442 in Loranger.  After a short chase, he crashed his car into a tree near Cherokee Beach and jumped into the river.  Officers saw him head east on foot.

Deputies, including K9, search and rescue teams, and the sheriff's office helicopter are currently in Tangipahoa searching an area where Ricker is believed to be hiding.

Ricker was serving a sentence for theft and was scheduled to be released in October.  Police warn that anyone who comes into contact with Ricker should not engage him, but to call 911 immediately.

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