A pair of convicted murderers serving life sentences that walked free of a Florida jail were recaptured over the weekend. Joseph Jenkins and Charles Walker were arrested in a Panama City Beach motel after a massive statewide manhunt was launched late last week after their bold escape using forged legal documents.
Jenkins and Walker, both 34, were arrested without incident at the Coconut Grove Motor Inn Saturday (Oct. 19) night. Earlier in the day, the families of the men held a news conference asking the men to turn themselves in. The pair were at the motel, reportedly awaiting a ride to another state according to Florida Department of Law Enforcement commissioner Gerald Bailey.
Joseph Jenkins and Charles Walker were believed to be waiting to be transported to another state when they were found, said Gerald Bailey, commissioner of the Department of Law Enforcement, at a news briefing. “They had to have had help, and a lot of help, to get to where they were last night,” he said.
Walker and Jenkins, both 34, had brief, routine court appearances on Sunday and were being held in jail in Bay County, Florida, authorities said.
After questioning the pair, police were seeking several unidentified “associates,” Bailey said. “While the manhunt is over, there’s still a lot that we do not know. I can tell you, there will be more arrests,” he said.
The AP quoted Bailey further, who said the men were waiting on a ride from someone based in Atlanta to transport the men to an unknown location. Bailey also added that there was speculation that the forged documents that led to Jenkins and Walker going free were being sold for a free of $8, 000.
Bailey said authorities were able to track down the men by way of interviewing recent visitors they had from relatives and ex-girlfriends, and also those who left money in their prison commissary accounts.
The documents were so official that Jenkins followed state law and registered as a felon three days after his Sept. 27 release at an Orlando jail, this after his uncle picked him up from prison. Walker was released on Oct. 8, and like Jenkins, also registered three days later as a felon.
The jail official had not been alerted about Jenkins’ escape at the time.