Brown County Jail escapee Mark Edward Rhoads was captured Wednesday evening in the Lawton, Okla., area after wrecking a stolen car there, Sheriff Bobby Grubbs said.
Rhoads, 43, was a jail trusty when he walked away from the Brownwood/Brown County Law Enforcement Center Sunday evening. Grubbs said authorities believe Rhoads stole a rental car from a Lake Brownwood car lot Tuesday night or Wednesday morning and drove it to the Lawton area, where he has family.
Rhoads remained in custody in Oklahoma Wednesday night, and Grubbs said he doesn’t know when extradition will be completed to bring him back to Brown County.
“We don’t have a whole lot of details,” Grubbs said of the capture. “It appears he stole a car here and went to Oklahoma with it. I think he may have tried to contact some of his relatives.
“I’m very thrilled about this. I guess the main thing is, I’m relieved no one was hurt. … We’ll do everything in our power to see it doesn’t happen again. He is in custody. We’re all tremendously relieved, pleased.”
Grubbs did not have specifics Wednesday night on what happened in Lawton, but said he understands Rhoads was fleeing from authorities when he wrecked the car, then ran from the car and was captured after a manhunt. Grubbs said he believes Rhoads was captured around 7 p.m.
Local authorities had been monitoring any reports of stolen vehicles, and sheriff’s officials were notified Wednesday morning that the rental car had been stolen from the Lake Brownwood car lot, Grubbs said.
A jailer’s tracking dog picked up Rhoads’ scent in that area, and sheriff’s officials believed they were “possibly on to something,” Grubbs said.
Investigators had not determined Wednesday how Rhoads got to the Lake Brownwood car lot or where he had been since his escape Sunday evening, Grubbs said.
“I knew we would get him,” Grubbs said.
Rhoads, who is from Geronimo, Okla., had been in the Brown County Jail for about eight months on burglary and larceny charges before his escape. He had been classified as a medium risk inmate and does not have a history of violence, Grubbs said earlier.
Rhoads walked away after completing his duties of taking out trash at the Law Enforcement Center and lowering the two flags outside the front entrance, Grubbs said.