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Escapee back in jail after hours on run

     After nearly 24 hours on the run, a Lawrence County jail escapee is back in custody, along with a woman who is facing charges in the escape, officials said.

     The pair are being held in the Lawrence County jail.

     Escapee Danny Joe Reid Jr., 36, was picked up by Lincoln County deputies early Thursday morning after a wide-ranging search that involved a number of law enforcement agencies.

     Lincoln County Sheriff Steve Rushing said deputies responded after a call from a passerby on Highway 84 reported a suspicious subject. Deputies were able to take Reid into custody without incident.

     Reid had escaped Wednesday around 9:40 a.m. while doing a roadside work detail in Lawrence County. Sheriff’s officials said Reid’s girlfriend, Melinda Lowery, 29, drove by and picked him up, and they fled west into Lincoln County.

     “I guess he decided he just didn’t want to be there any more,” said Lawrence County Sheriff Joel Thames.

     A Lincoln County officer spotted the fleeing vehicle and attempted to stop it. The car continued for about half a mile, turning on East Lincoln Road, before stopping.

     Lowery was apprehended on the scene, but Reid fled to the woods.

     During the search, authorities set up a base of operations at the corner of Monticello Street and East Lincoln Road.

     Members of the Lawrence and Lincoln County sheriff’s departments, Mississippi Highway Patrol officers, Mississippi Department of Transportation officials, Southwest Mississippi Narcotics agents, the Brookhaven Police Department, as well as some bloodhound units from Washington Parish, La., assisted in the hunt.

     As of this morning, Rushing said they only had one confirmed contact with Reid during the escape. A citizen on Honeydew Trail was approached by the escapee, who asked to use the phone.

     Michael Accardo, a resident on Honeydew Trail, told The Daily Leader his daughter was the one who called the sheriff’s office. Accardo and his wife have been out of town and his daughter has been staying with relatives.

      Accardo said his daughter stopped by their house Wednesday to pick up a few things when she heard the back door open and hid behind a door.

     Accardo said his daughter said she heard someone search the rooms. The man then approached her and asked if she had any cigarettes or a cell phone. When she answered negatively, he left.

     Reid was previously convicted of burglary and possession of a controlled substance with intent. He is now also being charged with escape by the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department.

     Lowery is being charged with aiding and abetting an escape. Thames said the grand jury could upgrade the charges to conspiracy.