(HALIFAX, N.C.) — An escaped killer from a North Carolina prison survived on the lam for five days eating acorns and was captured Thursday when he ventured into a town looking for water, authorities told ABC News.
James Ladd, 51, was captured in the garage of a home just 10 miles from the Tillery Correctional Center, the minimum security prison farm in Halifax, N.C., which he escaped from on Sunday morning.
Authorities received a tip that Ladd was in the area and began searching when a passersby pointed them to the garage where a man matching Ladd’s description had been spotted, said Keith Acree, a spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety.
Ladd “was on his own” and did not appear to have received help, Acree said.
When Ladd was discovered he was wearing his black prison-issued trousers and a coat that he acquired outside the prison, Acree said.
Ladd told authorities he had “been rambling in the woods,” surviving on acorns and entered town to look for water.
Ladd, convicted of the 1980 robbery and shooting death of two men in Yadkin County, had been sentenced to three consecutive life sentences. On account of good behavior in prison for 31 years, he had been transferred to a minimum security prison farm. Authorities found his abandoned tractor at 10 a.m. on Sunday morning, leading to a statewide manhunt.
Bloodhounds quickly lost his scent and helicopters were unable to spot him.
Ladd was captured two days after his mother, Lena Ladd, told ABC News that her son was “smart enough” to stay on the lam without getting caught.
He is currently being held at the central prison in Raleigh and has been charged with escape.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Holly Yan and AnneClaire Stapleton, CNN
Seth Fiegerman, CNN
Stephen Collinson, CNN