Police arrested the two accomplices of a convicted murderer who escaped by helicopter from a Vologda penal colony on Thursday but was recaptured later that day, Russian Interior Ministry spokesman Valery Gribakin said on Friday.
“Today … were detained the people suspected of aiding the escape of the convict from the colony. They are a woman born in 1976 and a man born in 1980,” Gribakin said.
"Air cards, food and personal items were found in their backpacks," the spokesman said.
The escapee, identified as Alexei Shestakov by local police, has served half of his 24-year term for murder at the high-security penal colony in the town of Sheksna. He used a rope ladder to climb aboard the hovering helicopter that had been commandeered by his accomplices on the outside, a penitentiary service official told RIA Novosti.
Prison guards opened fire on the aircraft but failed to prevent the escape.
The Mil Mi-2 (Hoplite) helicopter, whose crew was apparently forced to fly towards the colony by one or more accomplices, was discovered in the regional capital of Vologda, the penitentiary service official said. It is registered to a local firm, according to preliminary information.
The Sheksna colony houses about 1,700 inmates.