How the manhunt for Georgia inmate escapees lead to Jasper County

RIDGELAND, Sc. (WSAV) – Two escaped Georgia inmates are back behind bars Thursday night, but the two-day manhunt to find them stretched across borders. Donnie Rowe and Ricky Dubose overpowered and killed two corrections officers on a prison transport bus Tuesday.

A lead Thursday afternoon lead officials to Jasper County, and while it turned out to be a false lead, the response from law enforcement was very serious.

The Jasper County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a truck driver who thought he saw the escapees at a rest stop off the 95 freeway in Ridgeland, trying to steal a car and then running into the woods.

“He gave the descriptions of the subjects that matched the description of the two escapees. He said that they were lingering around the rest stop area it appeared to him that they were trying to possibly steal a vehicle,” said Jasper County Sheriff Chris Malphrus, “There was some lawnmower crews that did see the guys also and they confirmed that they did match the description.”

Deputies and police from several surrounding counties, SLED, and US Marshalls responded to the area and searched from the air and on the ground. After showing the truck driver photos of the two escapees, they confirmed it was not them and called off the search.

“This is what we do, we protect the community. You have to pursue each and every lead on a case such as this because you never know, that one little bit of information usually is what leads to getting these people caught,” said US Marshall Stewart Cottingham.

Cottingham says they’ve pursued hundreds of leads in the past two days and they are never a waste of time.

“Anyone who commits an act like this against law enforcement is a much more dangerous person to the community,” he said, “So you’ve got to pursue until you get them caught.”

He says these leads come from the community.

The two escapees were captured Thursday night after a car crash and foot chase just outside of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

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