NORTH FORSYTH — A former Forsyth County resident who escaped a prison work-release detail in middle Georgia was apprehended Tuesday in North Carolina after nearly a week on the run, authorities said.
According to the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, 20-year-old Eric J. Coe was arrested in Roanoke Rapids, a small city off Interstate 95 near the North Carolina-Virginia border.
He was found in possession of a stolen vehicle reported missing in Forsyth County on Aug. 13, the day after he escaped, according to Epifanio Rodriguez, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office.
The agency was notified of Coe’s arrest about 1 p.m. Tuesday, Rodriguez said. The U.S. Marshall Service, which was leading the investigation, had been made aware and was expected to bring him back to Monroe County.
It was not immediately clear at the sheriff’s office how Coe was found or captured.
Earlier evidence showed he returned to Forsyth County after last being seeing Aug. 12 near the city of Forsyth in Monroe County.
The initial vehicle he is believed to have stolen in Lamar County, just west of Monroe, turned up on Settingdown Road in north Forsyth the day after he disappeared.
As of Tuesday, no one had been detained or arrested in Georgia in connection with Coe’s disappearance, according to Robin Regan, also a spokesman for the sheriff’s office.
Anyone with information was encouraged to come forward to “avoid being criminally charged,” though it was not yet clear on Tuesday if any of Coe’s associates helped him.
Aiding in or permitting the escape of a prisoner is a felony that is associated with detainment of between one and five years.
Throughout his travels, Coe was not believed to be dangerous. He was reportedly about halfway through a 120-day boot camp program.
His arrest history includes charges of theft by taking and burglary, which he supposedly committed in Forsyth County and for which he was sent to prison in Monroe County.
On Aug. 13, sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of a second stolen vehicle on Settingdown Road, described as a black Ford Ranger XLT extended cab with front-end damage to the hood, grill and front bumper and a dented rear passenger corner panel.