Song Jiang was in prison for taking part in the trafficking of women and children. He was in a prison camp for nearly 20 years when he made his escape. With the help of drones, he was found. 17 years after this prisoner escaped, police finally found his unexpected hiding place.
Not the First, Not the Last
Son isn’t the first person to ever escape from prison, and he won’t be the last. Ohio’s Gallia County Jail has had to deal with breakouts in the past. The most recent one occurred in 2019. There are reasons why breakouts are possible at this prison. It was built over 50-years-ago, and it wasn’t built with the strength or the space to hold the number of prisoners who have been sentenced there. They had to start leaving the inmates’ cells open to house everyone there. The dorm-style sleeping arrangements were just one of the prison’s issues. Another was getting officers to work at the prison. The staff made between $11 and $15 per hour, which contributed to the low level of interest.
The Four Man Escape
In the fall of 2019, four men managed to escape from Gallia County Jail. Their names are Lawrence R. Lee III, Brynn K. Martin, Christoper M. Clemente, and Troy R. McDaniel. They were in jail for crimes including drug possession, domestic violence, burglary, assault, menacing, and unlawful restraint. They were all facing long sentences, so they decided to come up with an escape plan.
The four men fashioned a homemade weapon while in jail. They used it to overpower two female correctional officers on duty on a Sunday, just after midnight. Without any guards in their way, they forced through a security door and made it out of the jail. Brynn Martin had already escaped from the prison once, and his knowledge was helpful. He made it possible for the men to break out of the facility.
Someone On the Outside
Before leaving the prison, the four inmates went to the jail’s administrative wing, where they stole a correction officer’s keys. They took the officer’s car just a few blocks from the jail, where they left it behind and got in a waiting vehicle. The police were sure that there was someone on the outside helping the four men. They drove the getaway car from Ohio to Pennsylvania, where they ditched the car. The police were worried that they were in a Pittsburgh mall, so they closed it down. They believed that the men were somewhere in the area, but they managed to avoid capture.
The North Carolina Highway Patrol, located 400 miles east of the prison, was told that the four escaped convicts might be in the area. They were told that the men were spotted at a Red Roof Inn in Cary. When they arrived at the motel, they managed to arrest Martin, McDaniel, and Clemente. Lee managed to get away, which triggered a manhunt. Finally, shortly after the arrest of his fellow inmates, Lee was spotted in Durham, North Carolina, and he was taken into custody.
Song’s capture was different than the four convicts from Ohio because he managed to evade the police for a long time. He escaped from the prison camp in 2002. For 17 years, the police were searching for him. In September 2019, the police finally received a tip to his whereabouts. They were told that he settled somewhere near his hometown of Yunnan. The area is known for its stunning landscapes.
The Initial Sweep
When police got word that Song may be hiding in the area, they sent a team out searching for him. During the initial sweep, they came up with nothing. They couldn’t find Song or any signs of him. This was when they decided to bring in the drones. Since the terrain wasn’t safe, the drone would be able to capture images from above. The police hoped that they would find the convict using this technology.
Blue Steel Tile
When the drone flew above the area, it revealed a large blue steel tile roof on a steep cliff. It was clearly manmade. The drone also caught footage of household garbage. There were no people known to be living out there, so the police were sure that it was Song.
A Disheveled Old Man
When the police arrived at the site where the drone caught the footage, they saw a cave. Guarding the door was a disheveled old man. It was Song. His time on the run had changed him. He couldn’t communicate well since he had been alone for the past 17 years. He was filthy, and the police described his body as being “devastated.” He filled water bottles with mountain water and cooked on an open fire in pots and pans. The police led him from his cave home and took him back to jail.