NEW CASTLE, Pa. (WYTV) – Authorities in New Castle are still looking for 19-year-old Christopher Jackson of Pittsburgh after police say he jumped over a fence and into the Neshannock River to get away from them.
It all started around 3 a.m. Tuesday. New Castle Police Chief Robert Salem said Jackson and Devon Sims, 19, of New Castle broke into Greek’s House of Gold, 368 E. Washington St., New Castle, and made off with a pair of Rolex watches.
Officers spotted their car and chased the pair through town to an area along the Columbus Innerbelt behind the city fire station, near the point where the Neshannock flows into the Shenango River. Sims was caught, but Jackson leaped into the water.
“At that point, the officers lost him, lost sight of him,” said Salem. “Officers checked the area and they did find some fresh footprints going to the Shenango River.”
Firefighters spent several hours searching for Jackson on the ground but couldn’t find him. A state police helicopter made a number of passes over the area but also came up empty.
Sims is being held in the Lawrence County Jail on burglary, trespassing and criminal mischief charges. Salem said he has confessed to his involvement in the burglary.
“We did discover stolen jewelry in the vehicle,” Salem said.
Jackson is still at large but it is still not clear if he ever actually went into the river. Salem said Jackson is not a good swimmer and that if he went into the water, he may have drowned.
Jackson’s disappearance remains under investigation.