FBI St. Louis
St. Louis Press Office
(314) 589-2500
September 30, 2023

Escaped Inmate is a Federal Defendant Accused of Previously Involvement with Shooting at FBI Special Agents

The FBI and Phelps County Sheriff’s Office are searching for an inmate who escaped the Phelps County Jail at approximately 11:09 p.m. on September 29, 2023. Inmate Jonathan S. O’Dell and another inmate, Steven Timothy Scott, escaped by compromising the structural integrity of the cell and exiting the building. A short time later, Scott turned himself in.

O’Dell is facing federal charges. According to a federal indictment, O’Dell allegedly planned to travel to Texas to shoot at illegal immigrants crossing the United States – Mexico border. The indictment also alleges he planned to murder officers and employees of the U.S. Border Patrol who would attempt to stop them.

On October 7, 2022, the FBI executed a search warrant at O’Dell’s residence when special agents were fired at multiple times. Agents did not return fire and, after the gunshots ceased, the FBI established a perimeter and began communicating with the persons inside the residence to come out.

O’Dell is a white male, 33-year-old, 6'1" tall, 200 lbs., with brown hair, blue eyes, and a full beard at the time of his booking. He may have shaved his beard to disguise his identity. He was last seen wearing a maroon-colored shirt with Phelps County logo and brown slacks with a tan stripe.

O’Dell should be considered extremely dangerous and is being held for numerous weapons charges. O’Dell is known to have associates in and around central Missouri, specifically the Warsaw, Columbia, and Springfield areas.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Jonathan S. O’Dell is asked to call 9-1-1 or the FBI immediately. FBI St. Louis can be contacted at 314-589-2500 or FBI Kansas City at 816-512-8200. Tips may also be submitted at https://tips.fbi.gov. As a reminder, anyone who aids a wanted fugitive could be subject to serious charges.

Jonathan O'Dell, Escape, St. Louis
Jonathan O'Dell Escape Footage