Acquaintance Tipped Off Officials to Whereabouts of Escaped Inmates

By: Cameron Taylor Email
By: Cameron Taylor Email

PANAMA CITY BEACH - The two Florida inmates who escaped from a Franklin County State Prison were finally arrested after a statewide manhunt.

All eyes were on Panama City Beach this weekend as more details were revealed on how the two were recaptured.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement officials tell NewsChannel 7 they received a tip from an associate of one of the inmates that helped them pinpoint their exact location.

Sunday morning, the two escaped convicts from Franklin County had their first appearance in court at the Bay County Courthouse.

They were arrested Saturday night at the Coconut Grove Motor Inn in Panama City Beach.

Bay County Resident, Bonnie Stewart said, "They really didn't have much to say as they stood there before the judge. I just don't understand all of that."

The search for Joseph Jenkins and Charles Walker all began when they were released from the Franklin Correctional Institute after the state prison received forged documents ordering their release.

Once authorities realized what had happened, a state wide search began.

The break in the case came when law enforcement agencies received key information from one of the inmates' associates that they were at a hotel in Panama City Beach. Officials say the two men were in Bay County for about 48 hours before they were caught.

In a new video taken by a witness, you can see several members of the United States Marshals Florida Regional Task force surrounding the inmates room. Witnesses say they had no idea what was going on at the time.

Amanda McComb who took cell phone video of the arrest, "There was just a pool in between us. We tried to go outside during it and we weren't allowed. We got told to go back inside. It was pretty scary especially being there without knowing that murderers are actually in the same hotel that you're in."

Hotel managers say Jenkins and Walker didn't check themselves in. Instead, someone else bought the room for them.

At the time of the arrest, officials say the duo was waiting for a transport from Atlanta to take them to another state.

Jenkins and Walker's next court appearance will be on Friday. They have both been charged with one count of escape and have been held without bond.


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