OKLAHOMA — Two Washington County Jail escapees are now in custody after leading law enforcement officers in Oklahoma on a chase Thursday that spanned about 20 miles and ended a five-day manhunt.
According to reports, the pursuit began after police officers in Norman, Oklahoma attempted to stop a stolen truck traveling northbound on Interstate 44 near Newcastle.
The truck's occupants, later identified as escaped Washington County inmates Ronly Diza Pardo, and David Allan Anderson, did not comply with the attempted stop, leading officers in a pursuit.
Pardo and Anderson eventually abandoned the vehicle at an apartment complex near Interstate 240 in Oklahoma City. The pair fled on foot but were soon apprehended.
Washington County Sheriff Kevin Crews says the arrest is welcomed news.
"We could not have received better news today than this," said Crews. "We are very grateful for all of the agencies that have joined this investigation and have worked tirelessly to bring these subjects back into custody."
Pardo and Anderson escaped Monday morning after chipping away at a wall in their cell to access the adjoining maintenance room, which led outside to the jail yard.
After gaining access to the maintenance room, the inmates were able to exit into the jail yard and escape by crawling under a padlocked gate that they had bent.
Sheriff Crews states the investigating is "just beginning," and the sheriff's office is now developing a timeline to track the escapees' activity since leaving Washington County.
"We want to make sure [to identify] any crimes [Pardo and Anderson] may have committed along the way and help [law enforcement in those areas] link them," said Crews. "This investigation is still in its early stages, but we think they were probably trying to get to Mexico."
Crews said in a press conference Thursday the escapees were possibly staying in a hunting cabin in North Carolina, but pressure put on acquaintances and family members, by investigators may have spurred the pair to take to the road again.
One lead revealed a family tie in Florala, Alabama, for one of the men.
Pardo and Anderson are awaiting extradition to Florida and now face additional charges, including for escape in Washington County, as well as pending charges in Okalahoma.
Existing charges for Pardo include a recent second-degree murder charge for allegedly "stabbing a fellow inmate to death" in June at the Northwest Florida Reception Center and convictions for two counts of the sale, manufacture or delivery of marijuana and one count of lewd and lascivious battery out of Collier County.
Anderson was being held in the county jail on charges of fleeing and eluding law enforcement with disregard to safety of person or property, use or display of a weapon during a felony, possession of a methamphetamine with intent to sell or deliver, trafficking of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana with intent to sell, possession of a controlled substance without prescription and possession of paraphernalia. He also was being held for the U.S. Marshal's Office for trafficking in methamphetamine, for which he recently was sentenced to serve 22 years.