Jimmy Jack Searles

The Prisoner Review Board for the Kansas Department of Corrections will be reviewing public comments this month for convicted murderer Jimmy Jack Searles, 63.

Searles (inmate No. 49169) is housed in the El Dorado Correctional Facility, Central Unit. He is serving life in prison for the Aug. 8, 1987, murder of Roxanne Garland, 21.   

Garland disappeared the night of Aug. 7, 1987, after dancing with Searles at the former Joe’s Club, 2001 Crawford, and leaving with him to go dancing at The Midnight Factory, but they never showed up there. Searles and a woman he identified as Roxanne visited his friend in rural Parsons home about midnight before Searles and Roxanne left about an hour later. Searles claimed that he dropped Garland off at The Midnight Factory, but officers conducting surveillance inside and outside the bar that night testified they never saw Garland being dropped off.

Garland’s decomposed body was found about 10 days later in a ditch on the north side of what is now 25000 Road about half of a mile west of Kiowa Road.

The mother of three children had been killed by a blow from a four-way lug wrench, which was found in Searles’ pickup. Forensic examiners couldn’t determine if Garland was sexually assaulted because of decomposition, but Garland’s position in the ditch indicated she may have been sexually assaulted, law officers testified at the time.

Blood found on the bumper of Searles’ pickup could have come from a child of Garland’s parents, according to a KBI criminalist who testified at Searles’ trial in 1988.

A Labette County jury found Searles guilty in 1988 of the murder and attempted rape of Garland. Searles received life in prison for murder on Dec. 15, 1988, and an additional five to 20 years in prison on the attempted rape charge.

Searles has served about 32 years. He has had 15 disciplinary measures since 1996 for disobeying orders, rioting, threatening someone and work performance issues, according to the Kansas Department of Corrections website.

He’s been denied parole three previous times, in 2005, 2010 and 2015, for the serious nature and circumstances of the crime, the violent nature of the crime and objections received to his release.

This year, Searles’ parole hearing will be in May. There are no public comment sessions planned because of the coronavirus pandemic. So public comments were to be accepted online and read this month by the review board. PRB Administrator C.J. Perez said the board will make every effort to review and consider any correspondence received by the end of April. To fill out an online form, visit here

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