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2 Who Escaped in Tennessee Are Caught 2 Days Later in Florida

Two men who escaped from a prison in Tennessee last week and then kidnapped a man and stole his truck were captured on Sunday in South Florida, the authorities said.

The men, Robert Lee Brown and Christopher Osteen, escaped on Friday morning from the minimum-security annex at the Northwest Correctional Complex in Lake County, Tenn., the authorities said. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigations said on Friday that the men were considered armed and dangerous.

Mr. Brown, 36, had been serving an 18-year sentence for aggravated rape, and Mr. Osteen, 34, had been serving an eight-year sentence for burglary, reckless aggravated assault and theft, according to the Tennessee Department of Correction.

On Sunday evening, Mr. Brown and Mr. Osteen were found near Pompano Beach, Fla. — a thousand-mile drive from the prison they had fled — according to Josh Frey, the sheriff of Henry County, Tenn. Mr. Brown was taken into custody while the authorities searched for Mr. Osteen in an apartment complex, Sheriff Frey said. An hour later, he announced that Mr. Osteen had been taken into custody as well.

Officials at the prison declined to say how the men had escaped. Officers noticed they were gone around 8:30 a.m. local time, after an emergency inmate count, the Tennessee Department of Correction said in a statement.

After they escaped, around 9 a.m. on Friday, the men kidnapped a man from a boat ramp on the Mississippi River, the Henry County Sheriff’s Office said on Facebook. The sheriff’s office said the man worked for the highway department in Fulton County, Ky.

Later that afternoon, the man was found unharmed in his department-issued truck north of Paris, Tenn., where the escapees had left it, the authorities said.

“From statements made by the victim, who was blindfolded, it was believed that another vehicle had been taken by the escapees at an unknown location,” the Henry County Sheriff’s Office said.

Early Saturday morning, Henry County deputies found another man tied up in his home in Paris. His truck, a red 2009 Chevrolet Silverado pickup with an extended cab, had been stolen, the sheriff’s office said. The authorities said that the escapees tied the man up and stole his truck around 10:30 a.m. on Friday.

The Henry County Sheriff’s Office had asked that citizens “check on their friends and relatives and watch for suspicious activity.”

The authorities were investigating “any help that Brown and Osteen may have received during their escape,” Sheriff Frey said.




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