Reward money increased for escaped St. Gabriel prisoner

Authorities have increased the reward for information leading to the capture of a state prisoner who escaped Tuesday from the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women in St. Gabriel.

The state Department of Public Safety and Corrections is now offering $2,500 — up from $1,000 — for tips leading to the arrest of Keana Barnes, 33, who was serving a 25-year sentence for manslaughter. Crimestoppers of Greater New Orleans also is offering a $2,500 reward.

“If you see something or hear something, say something,” Jimmy LeBlanc, secretary of the state Department of Public Safety and Corrections, said in a news release. “There will be consequences for anybody found helping Barnes while she is on the run.”

Barnes is 5 feet 4 inches tall, weighs 140 pounds and has dark brown eyes and “very short” brown hair, corrections officials have said. “She has the letter K tattooed on her left hand, a dragon tattoo on her back and two panther tattoos on her chest,” the news release says.

Barnes is from the New Orleans area and has family there, authorities have said. “It is likely that she is getting assistance in evading capture,” the news release says.

Anyone with information about Barnes’ whereabouts is asked to call the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women’s Control Center at (225) 319-2300. Anonymous tips can be called into Crimestoppers of Greater New Orleans at (504) 822-1111 or (877) 903-7867.