Former Sedalia Resident to Be Featured on NBC’s Dateline
Toby Dorr, a former resident of Sedalia, used to go by another name, Toby Young. In 2006, Toby gained notoriety after helping an inmate escape from the Lansing, Kansas Correctional Facility. This Friday, June 11, that story will be featured on the nighttime NBC news program, Dateline.
I was living in Spring Hill, Kansas when this took place. It not only gained local attention but also international buzz. It turns out that my wife and I went to church with Toby and her husband Chris some years later in Sedalia.
If you don't remember how it all happened, Toby worked as a volunteer at the prison in Lansing as the head of the prison's dog training program. She became acquainted with convicted murder inmate, John Manard. The meeting of the two turned into a romance. Dorr helped Manard escape in her white cargo van, and led authorities on a 12-day manhunt looking for their trail.
According to a story from kansascity.com, Manard had to lose 25 lbs to make the escape as he was cargoed off in Toby's van in a dog crate along with several other dogs.
Kansascity.com reports that Manard was serving a life sentence after being convicted for his role in a 1996 fatal carjacking in Overland Park.
The escape from the federal prison found the two shacked up in Tennessee. When they were finally spotted in Chattanooga, the two were caught after a chase. Interestingly, in the cabin that they were hiding, the following was found by authorities:
"Books, sex toys, a blue parakeet, a guitar and sheet music to the jailbreak film “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”
The Dateline story titled "Breakout", will air this Friday night at 9 p.m.