UPDATE: Reward at $73K to find 4 inmates who escaped from Georgia jail

Murder suspect among the four who escaped from Bibb County jail

The reward climbed to $73,000 Wednesday to find four inmates who escaped earlier this week from a Middle Georgia jail that has been plagued by staffing issues, investigators said.

The FBI Atlanta office is offering rewards of up to $25,000, combined with rewards from the Macon Regional Crime Stoppers, Bibb County Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Marshals Service.

Investigators believe the four men, with the help of someone outside the jail, broke out through a damaged second-floor window and cut a fence early Monday, the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office said. A blue Dodge Challenger then pulled up and helped the inmates flee at 3 a.m., but it was later Monday before authorities knew they were gone.

Only 10 employees were working at the time when as many as 30 should have been, Sheriff David Davis said during a Monday afternoon news conference. Additionally, the escape happened in the oldest part of the 43-year-old jail, away from where inmates are housed.

While his office works to figure out how the escape happened, Davis said he had one goal.

“We want to catch these guys,” Davis said. “That is the most important thing right now is to get these four individuals back in the Bibb County jail.”

The FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service joined state investigators in the search to find the four, including a murder suspect.

UPDATE: BOLO with Tip Line Numbers Attached is an updated BOLO with tip line numbers, for reporting tips on the escaped...

Posted by Bibb County Sheriff's Office on Monday, October 16, 2023

“This is all hands on deck situation when something like this happens,” Davis said.

But late Wednesday, all four remained on the run, according to investigators.

The inmates are: Joey Fournier, 52, who has been charged with murder; Marc Kerry Anderson, 24, who was being held on aggravated assault charges; Johnifer Dernard Barnwell, 37, who was being detained for the Marshals Service; and Chavis Demaryo Stokes, 29, who was charged with possession of a firearm and drug trafficking. Three have been in the jail several times, the sheriff said.

Fournier is accused of killing his ex-girlfriend, Cynthia Berry, in February 2022, according to the sheriff’s office. Barnwell was convicted earlier this month on federal drug trafficking charges and faces significant time in prison when sentenced, the FBI said.

Investigators are unaware of an association between the four prior to them being inmates. But while in the jail, they allegedly worked together to plan their escape, Davis said. Their direction of travel was unknown, the sheriff said.

After learning of the escape, deputies made sure all other inmates were accounted for, the sheriff said. Local schools were also notified, though there was no indication the four inmates were ever near a campus.

Investigators were following various tips late Monday, the sheriff said. He is hopeful someone will spot them and alert investigators.

“We will catch them,” Davis said. “They will come back to jail, it’s just a matter of when.”

Anyone with information on the possible locations of these escapees should call the FBI’s tip line at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324), the USMS at 1-877-WANTED2, or the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office at 478-751-7500. Tips may also be submitted online at tips.fbi.gov or USMS Tips App.