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Second Ky. Escapee Caught in Indiana

November 20, 2002

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GOSHEN, Ind. (AP) _ The second jail escapee suspected of abducting a South Carolina woman during a multi-state crime spree was captured Wednesday in northern Indiana.

Chadrick E. Fulks was caught shortly after noon in Elkhart County, FBI agent Tom VanWormer said. He was being held at Elkhart County Jail in Goshen, about 30 miles east of South Bend.

It wasn’t immediately clear if authorities were any closer to finding the missing woman, Alice Donovan, VanWormer said. Authorities believe she was kidnapped last week from a Wal-Mart parking lot in Conway, S.C., by Fulks and another inmate, L. Branden Basham, who was arrested Sunday.

FBI agent Kathleen Murphy in South Carolina said Wednesday afternoon that Donovan still hadn’t been found.

``We can’t give out any more information right now,″ she said.

Authorities have been searching for Donovan by helicopter and on the ground in areas of North and South Carolina where the men were believed to have been. Police said her ATM card had been used near Raleigh, N.C., late Thursday and Friday.

Fulks, 25, and Basham, 21, escaped Nov. 4 from the Hopkins County jail in western Kentucky.

They are suspected of abducting a 42-year-old Kentucky man two days later and leaving him tied to a tree with duct tape and electrical cord. The man was able to free himself after struggling for about 14 hours. FBI agent Ron Ryniak said Wednesday that investigators also were looking into a possible connection between Fulks and a bank robbery a few days ago in Middlebury, not far from where he was arrested.

Basham was arrested Sunday after allegedly trying to hijack a car from a woman and her 15-year-old daughter at an Ashland, Ky., mall. After a foot chase during which Basham and an officer exchanged gunfire, police captured him in the nearby Ohio River.

Without elaborating, Kentucky police said Basham’s arrest yielded ``a lot of leads″ in the search for Donovan.

Basham was being held in lieu of $2 million bail on charges of attempted robbery, criminal attempt to commit murder on an officer and fleeing or eluding a police officer. At the time of the escape, he was serving a five-year sentence for writing a bad check. He had broken out of the same jail in February but was quickly caught, authorities said.

Fulks was awaiting trial on robbery charges when the two escaped.

Ohio troopers believed they spotted Fulks late Monday sleeping in a blue BMW parked in a rest area in north-central Ohio. The man sped off when the trooper ordered him out of the car and nearly ran over another officer. The pursuit was halted to make sure the officer was OK.

``Our trooper did not see anyone else in the car but we don’t know if there were possible victims or abductions inside the trunk,″ Lewis said.

Donovan’s relatives have said they hoped her friendliness would buy her safety.

Her last conversation with family members came about two hours after store surveillance tapes showed her being carjacked at the Wal-Mart parking lot. She called her daughter but didn’t mention being kidnapped, said her sister July Ezell.

``She told her ‘I love you’ and that was pretty much it,″ Ezell said.

Update hourly