Police believe two 18-year-old men who escaped from the Dermott Juvenile Treatment Center Monday night have left the area. Noah Miller of Glenwood and Alex Armador of Ft. Smith, both non-violent offenders, reportedly escaped by climbing over a fence and “squeezing” through a gap in a gate at the treatment center.

“We’re pretty sure they’ve left the area,” said Dermott Police Detective Antonio Swaggart.

Swaggart suspects Miller and Armador are trying to get back to the area where they are from. He said authorities in those areas have been notified.

Dermott Juvenile Treatment Center director Larry Jacobs said Tuesday afternoon that Miller and Armador were last seen at a Dermott residence where they used the homeowner’s telephone to call Armador’s mother.

Jacobs has not returned subsequent phone calls inquiring about the escape, search, and the public notification. Some are questioning the manner in which the incident has been handled, specifically why the Dermott public schools, State Police, and media were not immediately notified of the escape.

Swaggart said the school and State Police have been notified but he didn’t know when they were first alerted.

Miller is described as a white male wearing a blue shirt, khaki pants and flip-flops. Armador is described as a Hispanic male wearing a red sweat shirt, gray gym shorts and blue boots.