Escaped Tennessee prison inmates found in Florida after manhunt: cops

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Two inmates, who were on the run after escaping from a Tennessee minimum-security facility, were arrested Sunday in Pompano Beach, Fla., according to authorities.

Robert Lee Brown, 36, and Christopher Osteen, 34, were taken into custody by law enforcement more than two days after the pair escaped from the Northwest Correctional Complex in Tiptonville, Tenn., on Friday, the Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC) said in a news release.

Brown’s arrest was announced on Sunday, about an hour before authorities said Osteen was found. Both men had been placed on the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s most-wanted list.

“This was a manhunt that originated at the Mississippi River and ended on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean,” said U.S. Marshal Tyreece Miller, according to FOX 13 of Memphis, Tenn. “We are glad to have helped in bringing to an end this threat to the public’s safety.”

Brown is currently serving an 18-year sentence for aggravated rape, with his sentence set to expire in 2022. Osteen is serving an 8-year sentence for burglary. His sentence was set to expire in 2023.
Christopher Osteen, 34, left, and Robert Lee Brown, 36, were taken into custody by law enforcement more than two days after the pair escaped from the Northwest Correctional Complex in Tiptonville, Tenn.

Christopher Osteen, 34, left, and Robert Lee Brown, 36, were taken into custody by law enforcement more than two days after the pair escaped from the Northwest Correctional Complex in Tiptonville, Tenn. (Tennessee Department of Correction)

The fugitives escaped on Friday morning, only to be noticed after guards uncovered their absence during an emergency recount at 8:25 a.m. The facility notified local law enforcement to commence a search, according to the TDOC.

The escapees turned up in Henry County, Tenn., with the local Sheriff’s Office posting on Facebook that the pair had been seen in the county an hour later.

They had kidnapped a Fulton County Kentucky Highway Department employee near a boat ramp on the Mississippi River, with the employee and his truck located several hours later after they abandoned him, according to the sheriff’s office.

Early Saturday, deputies found a Henry County resident who had been tied up in his home by the escapees. The sheriff’s office said the pair stole the resident’s red 2009 Chevrolet Silverado extended cab pickup truck, which was found Sunday in Florida.

The Department of Correction’s Office of Investigations and Conduct said the inmates will be returned to TDOC custody where they will be housed at an “appropriate facility.”

The TDOC added that it will “continue to work with other agencies to investigate this incident and bring additional charges, where appropriate.”

Tiptonville is about 1,070 miles northwest of Pompano Beach.

Fox News’ Peter Aitken and the Associated Press contributed to this report
David Aaro is a Reporter at Fox News Digital based in New York City.