Escapee painted truck black to avoid capture - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Escapee painted truck black to avoid capture

Posted: Updated:
Michael Dowda (Photo source: Bibb Co. Jail) Michael Dowda (Photo source: Bibb Co. Jail)
JACKSON, MS (WLBT) -

A nearly three day manhunt for escaped Mississippi inmate Michael Dowda came to an end early Tuesday morning nearly 500 miles away in Georgia. Investigators say tips played a big role in his capture.

"We wouldn't have been able to catch him without the public and as well as the individuals that called in to help," said Christopher Felix, supervisor inspector with the U.S. Marshal's Office out of Oxford.

Dowda, 48, managed to escape over the weekend while on a work detail at the state penitentiary. That's where he's serving a life sentence for the 1996 murder of his girlfriend, Lynette Jarrett, in Harrison County. The Department of Corrections believes Dowda broke into an employee's home and stole two handguns before taking off in the same employee's white truck.

Felix said Dowda painted the truck black to avoid detection, but was tracked down in Macon, Georgia.

"When the officers in Georgia identified the vehicle and used their flashlight to flash on the tag, they were able to identify it being a Mississippi plate. At that point, the escapee was asleep in the vehicle," said Felix. "When they flashed the flashlight on the tag, he woke up and at that point he tried to flee from the parking lot. However, he was blocked in and could not get out."

Once he realized he was blocked in, Felix said Dowda surrendered peacefully. That's a scenario he's been in before with a previous escape. Back in 1998, Dowda and three other inmates escaped from the Harrison County Jail. That's where he was being held before his murder conviction.

Making a second run from the law has family members of the victim questioning the prison system's security.

"A convicted murderer with a life sentence who had a history of escape, escaping again? He was not supervised well enough," said the victim's niece, Tanya Farrell.

Dowda now faces extradition to Mississippi and multiple charges, including escape.

Copyright 2012 WLBT. All rights reserved.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Two teens charged with Gulfport man's murder

    Two teens charged with Gulfport man's murder

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 3:00 PM EDT2014-07-29 19:00:30 GMT
    Two Gulfport teens are charged with murder after police say they shot Lamont Hayes in his home last week and left him to die.More >>
    Two Gulfport teens are charged with murder after police say they shot Lamont Hayes in his home last week and left him to die. Monday night, investigators tracked down Jalen Shaquille Williams, 19, and arrested him at his home. Rashad Rejohn Johnson, 17, was arrested Monday at the Harrison County Juvenile Detention Facility, where he was being held on an unrelated charge.More >>
  • Two more Singing River Health System clinics set to close

    Two more Singing River Health System clinics set to close

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 9:10 PM EDT2014-07-30 01:10:42 GMT
    Singing River Health System has announced the closure of two more primary care clinics as part of a realignment program. The Gautier and D'Iberville facilities will close August 29.
    More >>
    We will rebound. That's Singing River Health System CEO Kevin Holland's response to the announcement that two clinics are closing in South Mississippi. Those facilities are in Gautier and D'Iberville. Holland said it's also unfortunate that several people will lose their jobs because of the closings.More >>
  • Coroner: Gulfport murder victim was shot in the groin

    Coroner: Gulfport murder victim was shot in the groin

    Thursday, July 24 2014 6:54 AM EDT2014-07-24 10:54:09 GMT
    According to Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove, Lamont Hayes, 41, was shot in the groin area and bled to death just a few hours later Tuesday night.More >>
    An area of Gulfport still reeling from the brutal murder of a child last week was hit with another violent death Tuesday night. According to Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove, Lamont Hayes, 41, was shot in the groin area and bled to death just a few hours later.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

208 DeBuys Road
Biloxi, MS 39531
(228) 896-1313

FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WLOX. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.