Family dog lures escaped patient out of Jerome mine shaft

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

JEROME, Ariz. -- A patient broke out of a behavioral health facility in Cottonwood on Tuesday and was holed up in an abandoned mine shaft near Jerome for 26 hours.

Christopher Ross Godby escaped from Mingus Center Mental Health Facility Tuesday night and hitchhiked to Jerome. Police officers spotted the escapee and tried to take him into custody, but he ran into an area filled with abandoned mine shafts.

Godby jumped a fence and went into the Columbia Mine shaft at approximately 9:15 a.m. Wednesday.

Police officers and the man's parents talked to him during the standoff. Godby asked for food and cigarettes while he was holed up at the entry of the mine shaft.

The escapee was sitting on the edge with his feet dangling over the 900-foot hole, according to Jerome police.

Authorities said they feared Godby was suicidal and also worried that he would fall down the shaft.

The family dog, Lou, was brought to the scene Thursday and police used it to lure the man away from the mine. After a brief struggle, officers took Godby into custody shortly before noon.

Godby was arrested and charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, resisting and obstructing police, escape and criminal trespass. He is at the Yavapai County Jail.

The Jerome, Clarkdale and Cottonwood police departments and the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office responded to the incident.