PICKENS COUNTY -An escapee has been apprehended after two inmates broke free from a Pickens County jail Tuesday night.
Jonathan Dean Moody was found less than a mile from the Pickens County Detention Center during a search conducted on Wednesday.
“At about 12 p.m. we left the perimeter with the dogs that we kept through the wee-hours of the morning, but we had deputies keeping the perimeter loose,” Captain Keith Galloway said. “(Right about that time) Jonathan Moody walked out of a small wooded area that was inside the perimeter. One of our guys spotted him and took him into custody.”
Police are still looking for Rickylee Charles Eugene Smith who also escaped shortly after 8 p.m., according to Pickens County Detention Center officials.
Galloway said Moody had been running around in circles all night.
“We were checking it periodically in case they were still in the woods,” Galloway said. “It paid off because Moody had actually spent the entire night in the woods. He was less than a mile from the jail. He basically had been running in circles all night and just laid down.”
“He left in an orange shirt and pants, but he was actually in his underwear when he was captured,” he said.
Galloway said Moody was being questioned on Wednesday afternoon.
“We’re questioning Moody to see if he’s got any information on Smith,” said Galloway. “We’re going to go back and double check some of the areas we checked (Tuesday) night.”
Authorities say they believe they are close to another capture.
“We’ve got three teams out in other parts of the county and in other counties,” Galloway said. “We’ve expanded out and we’re working our way back in. We’re hoping to have Smith by nightfall. I think we’ve got some good information coming in and we’re in the process of following up on those tips and leads.”
When the two broke out Tuesday night, Galloway said police were hot on their trail.
“We had officers and dogs on the ground in a matter of minutes. We actually had an active track and tracked them for well over an hour, but we think they probably got some help from a car passer-by,” Galloway said. “We’re pretty sure that somebody may have picked them up with a car, we haven’t got anything to substantiate that, but we are pretty sure that they got some help.”
According to the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office,the men escaped together.
“About 8:30 p.m. Tuesday night, they were able to compromise a locked door that went out onto the rec yard,” Galloway said. “Both of them are pretty small guys, 5’6, 5’7, 135 and 140 pounds, and they were able to help each other get up the side of the rec yard where there was a small area of fence that had about a foot or so section that had been compromised. I don’t know whether they had been working on that or not, but they were able to squeeze through that little area.”
Capt. Galloway said that officers gave verbal commands for the men to get down off the wall, but they were too quick.
The men had were in the detention center for several previous charges.
“One of them had a robbery charge, and the other one had some burglary charges, some grand larceny charges, and there was a drug charge or two thrown in there,” said Captain Keith Galloway of the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office. “Some of those charges are past charges.”
Officials say the search will continue within the county.
“Both men have deep roots in the county, so that is naturally something we are following up on. We spoke with several family members and acquaintances last night during the interview process,” Galloway said.
Galloway said Smith could still be dangerous.
“There is nothing that would tell us (that he has) a gun, but (he) certainly could have acquired one by now. We are asking the public not to approach (him) and to call sheriff’s office with any information,” Galloway said
Galloway said a monetary award will be offered to anyone with information that would lead to the two men being captured. The amount of the award is yet to be determined.
If any information is known regarding the whereabouts of the two men, call 898-COPS, or call the Sheriff’s Department at 898-5500.
Check www.theeaslyprogress.com for further details.