Two men who escaped from a Tennessee jail, kidnapped a man and stole his truck last week were followed to a beachfront block in South Florida and captured on Sunday, authorities said .
The men, Robert Lee Brown and Christopher Osteen, fled Friday morning from the minimum-security annex of the correctional complex in northwest Lake County, Tennessee, authorities said. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigations said Friday that the men were considered armed and dangerous.
Mr. Brown, 36, was serving an 18-year sentence for aggravated rape, and Mr. Osteen, 34, was serving an eight-year sentence for burglary, reckless aggravated assault and theft, according to the Tennessee Corrections Department.
On Sunday morning, Broward County, Florida sheriff deputies were alerted to a vehicle with Mr. Brown and Mr. Osteen inside, the sheriff’s office said in a statement. After several hours After searching the area, MPs found the couple on North Ocean Drive in Pompano Beach, a palm-strewn stretch adjoining the beach and a thousand miles drive from the jail they had fled.
The two escapees fled on foot and authorities apprehended Mr. Brown and then Mr. Osteen one block away, where they were looking for him in a building. The Broward County Sheriff’s Department, SWAT, US Marshals and other local agencies were involved in the arrests.
Prison officials declined to say how the men escaped. Officers noticed they left around 8:30 a.m. local time after an emergency inmate count, the Tennessee Corrections Department said in a statement.
After their escape, at around 9 a.m. Friday, the men kidnapped a man from a boat launch on the Mississippi River, the Henry County Sheriff’s Office said on Facebook. The sheriff’s office said the man worked for the Fulton County Highway Department in Ky.
Later that afternoon, the man was found unharmed in his department truck north of Paris, Tennessee, where escapees had left him, authorities said.
“Based on statements from the victim, who was blindfolded, it was believed that another vehicle had been taken by the escapees to an unknown location,” the Henry County Sheriff’s Office said.
Early Saturday morning, Henry County MPs found another man tied up at his Paris home. His truck, a red 2009 Chevrolet Silverado pickup with an extended cab, had been stolen, the sheriff’s office said. Authorities said the escapees tied up the man and stole his truck around 10:30 a.m. Friday.
The Henry County Sheriff’s Office had demanded that citizens “check their friends and relatives and watch for suspicious activity.”
Authorities were investigating “any help Brown and Osteen may have received during their escape,” Sheriff Frey said.
The Tennessee Corrections Department said the couple would be returned to their custody and “placed in an appropriate facility.”