FITZGERALD, GA (WALB) - A suspected murderer is back in the Ben Hill County Jail. One of the seven people charged with murdering a Fitzgerald lottery winner earlier this year was captured Thursday night in Ocilla after escaping late Wednesday afternoon.
28-year-old Earnest Holcomb was a free man for more than 24 hours. The investigation into exactly how he escaped continues, but the Ben Hill County Sheriff says he was confident they would find Holcomb.
"He can run but he can't hide," said Sheriff Bobby McLemore, Ben Hill County Sheriff. "We're going to find him and we're going to bring him back."
Law enforcers did just that. A tip led them to 28-year-old Earnest Holcomb, hiding under a house in Ocilla tonight just after 8 o'clock. Sheriff Bobby McLemore says Holcomb was able to escape the rec yard Wednesday afternoon.
"Halfway between these two drain pipes right up in here and he got up on the roof right here," said Sheriff McLemore. "Well that's 18 feet straight up."
The motion sensor didn't turn the camera on to catch Holcomb's escape.
"On the roof is some sand," said Sheriff McLemore. "His sandal prints were in that sand. His jumpsuit was laying right here and his sandals were laying right here."
Holcomb went through some woods and eventually was picked up by someone along a road near the Sheriff's office.
Around 30 officers from numerous agencies joined the search, including the U.S. Marshals Service. McLemore says they followed up on numerous false leads before getting a tip that led them to Holcomb.
"We've searched relatives, acquaintances, people we know he has contact with," said Sheriff McLemore.
The Sheriff is now working to figure out who helped Holcomb escape. He wants to thank all of the agencies that assisted in getting the suspected killer back behind bars.
Holcomb will be charged with felony escape in addition to the murder charges related to the home invasion shooting death of lottery winner Craigory Burch. Holcomb remains in the Ben Hill County Jail but will be moved to an undisclosed location.