CONYERS - The inmate who escaped from the Rockdale County jail three weeks ago was captured and arrested in Portsmouth, Ohio Wednesday evening.
Timothy Allen Ward, 33, of Buffalo, West Va., and a female associate were spotted in public by law enforcement in Portsmouth, Ohio around 6 p.m., said Rockdale County Sheriff's Office Cpl. Michael Camp.
Ward was captured without incident and placed under arrest. He and the female were reportedly found with a handgun, about 11 grams of methamphetamine and several prescription pills. It's unknown if the handgun was stolen.
The female, Heather Adkins, 28, of Cross Lanes, West Va., was charged for the posession of the drugs and handgun.
Portsmouth is located on the Ohio River near the border with West Virginia.
On the morning of Aug. 5, Ward was on a cleaning crew work detail at the older portion of the jail, which is under construction for renovation. Ward told a deputy he was going to get more cleaning fluid and then walked out of the building. He then stole an unlocked truck from a nearby construction company around 10 a.m.
On that same day, within two hours of Ward's escape, two of Ward's associates were arrested and charged with aiding and abetting. They had reportedly driven down from West Virginia two days before the escape.
"They were fleeing the area," but they were captured before they met up with Ward, said Camp.
"One of the people we had in custody was receving calls from a strange number," said Camp. That number ended up being from a McDonald's in Thompson, Ga, on Interstate 20 about 30 minutes west of Augusta. Restaurant employees confirmed a white male who matched Ward's description had asked to use the phone.
When investigators went out there and pulled security camera footage, it showed Ward driving a grey Toyota pickup truck with stickers in the window and a white generator in the back. Ward was also wearing a white T-shirt, khaki shorts, and a tan bucket hat.
The images matched the description of a work truck that had been stolen from a farm in Oconee County around noon or 1 p.m. on Aug. 5.
"Our investigators have been working on known contacts in the West Virginia area, providing that information to West Virginia Marshals. They've been in communcation with Marshals in Atlanta," said Camp.
Investigators learned of a female associate that might be with Ward and learned they might be in the Portsmouth, Ohio area. On Wednesday, Marshals in the area spotted the pair in Portsmouth.
Ward faces charges in Rockdale of theft by taking for the stolen construction company truck as well as escape. He may face charges from Oconoee County for the theft of the grey Toyota truck there as well.
At least four people were previously arrested for aiding and abetting Ward - Shane Thompson, 38, Christopher Bryant, 34, Anna Moore, 24, Elizabeth Paige Prouse, 24. They were all associates of Ward from West Virginia, said Camp.
Thompson, Bryant and Moore reportedly drove down from West Virginia about two days before Ward's escape to meet up with him, said Camp. Moore met with Ward as a visitor in the jail the day before his escape.
Prouse was in West Virginia but was involved in coordinating the escape, said Camp. She was arrested and released on bond in West Virginia and instructed to drive down to Georgia to turn herself in to the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office, which she did.