FARMVILLE, Va. (WRIC) — New details are emerging about the capture of escaped federal inmate, Bruce Callahan, nearly eight days after he broke out of the Piedmont Regional Jail in Prince Edward County.
Authorities confirm Callahan was taken into custody around 5 a.m. on Monday on Longwood University’s campus — less than three miles away from where he fled.
“It’s just really crazy that this is where he ended up being,” said Daryl Thompson, a Longwood student who witnessed Callahan’s capture.
Thompson said he was woken up to a fire alarm going off in Lancer Park early Monday morning. Moments later, he saw more than six police cruisers, fire crews and an ambulance rushing in.
Police said Callahan, 44, had approached the campus and pulled an outdoor fire alarm, asking for medical attention. According to a release from Longwood, he appeared “injured and in poor health.”
“Police walked up to someone in our group and asked, ‘Did he walk up to you?’” She said, ‘yeah.’” And he (the officer) said, ‘OK, well that was one of the escaped inmates,’ and she said, ‘I knew it!” Thompson recalled.
He added that Callahan could be heard grunting before being put on a gurney and taken into custody.
“He was skinny as could be. Long hair, he was about almost half the size of the gurney, which was pretty crazy how thin he was,” Thompson said.
It’s unclear how long Callahan was on campus; however, Longwood said in a release that there was no indication that he had previously been on the university’s property.
The Prince Edward County Sheriff’s office said Callahan is now in the custody of U.S. marshals.
“That’s crazy on a college dorm campus,” Thompson said. “It kind of makes me wonder after a week why he was still in Farmville and in this place to begin with.”
Callahan’s capture marks the end of a multi-state and multi-agency manhunt.
On Sunday, April 30,— Callahan and another inmate, 26-year-old Alder Marin-Sotelo — escaped from Piedmont Regional Jail.
Emergency calls from the jail revealed Marin-Sotelo escaped around 1:40 a.m. on Sunday, April 30, and Callahan followed at 11:18 p.m. that same day. Both inmates escaped by “manipulating a locking mechanism on the rear exit door.”
According to authorities, Callahan was being held for federal drug and firearm charges.
Marin-Sotelo had been convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm by an illegal alien — he had also been indicted by a grand jury for the murder of a sheriff’s deputy in Wake County, North Carolina. Marin-Sotelo was captured in Mexico on Thursday, May 4.
“It takes a lot of manpower and a lot of support to sustain a response to an incident like this,” said Prince Edward County Sheriff, L.A. “Tony” Epps. “I wish to express my sincere appreciation to my staff and to the many agencies who supported the FBI and U.S. Marshals over the course of the last week.”