Killer who escaped NC prison farm recaptured

September 27, 2012 - 4:35 PM

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A convicted killer who walked away from a North Carolina prison farm was captured Thursday after more than four days on the run.

James J. Ladd, 51, was taken into custody by state authorities at about 11 a.m., according to North Carolina Department of Public Safety spokesman Keith Acree.

The inmate was found hiding in a garage about 10 miles from the minimum security Tillery Correctional Center, which is located in a rural area more than an hour's drive east of Raleigh.

A passing motorist called authorities after spotting Ladd running from a wooded area toward a home. He offered no resistance once officers found him.

The capture ends a massive search for Ladd, who went missing Sunday morning after a tractor he had been operating was found abandoned in a field outside the prison. Dozens of officers from multiple state and local law enforcement agencies were involved, utilizing bloodhounds and a helicopter.

Ladd is serving three life sentences for the 1980 robbery and shooting deaths of two men in Yadkin County.

He became parole eligible after serving 30 years, but was denied release in January 2011. He will now face criminal charges for escaping prison, as well as disciplinary charges within the correction system. Ladd's next parole review was scheduled for 2014.

Records show Ladd is the seventh North Carolina inmate to escape in 2012. All have been recaptured.

The last convicted murderer to escape state custody was Martin Pedron in 1996, according to records. Pedron, 47, remains at large.

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