Escaped prisoner captured after hours long search across north central Florida

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COLUMBIA COUNTY, Fla. (WCJB)-- Update 10:30 PM 6/20/19

He might have thought he was a free bird, but after a manhunt in Columbia County, he finds himself once again a jailbird.

Tv20 has exclusive video of the inmate being captured.

Forty-nine-year-old James Bolding escaped from Sneads Florida in Jackson County around 1 pm and got all the way to Columbia County where he was finally sniffed out.

An FHP spokesman says he was on work detail when he stole a city of Snead's vehicle and headed East. However, in Columbia County had to ditch his ride when he got into an accident with another vehicle on I-75.

Lieutenant Patrick Riordan who is the spokesman for the Florida Highway Patrol explained, "after the collision, the driver got out of the vehicle when he fled Southbound on foot from this interchange of I-75 and I-10."

TV20's Landon Harrar reported, "the escaped convict after getting around a mile down the road decided it was best to hide himself in heavy vegetation. He took off his shirt but it wasn't enough, K-9's were able to sniff him out and they found him sitting by a fence and he was taken without incident."

Law enforcement set up roughly a 5-mile perimeter from mile marker 433 on I-75 where Bolding was last seen and brought in helicopters to search as well said, Riordan.
"I think the heavy presence of law enforcement in the area did not give him the option to take and leapfrog any further South because you know the vegetation got sparse and he would have revealed himself if he had tried to travel along the Western shoulder of the interstate."

All in all the manhunt on foot lasted around 2 hours before Bolding was captured.
"We had around 45 different officers around here from different agencies the Florida Highway Patrol, Florida Department of Corrections and multiple Sheriff's Departments responded out here to assist."

Riordan said it was an unusually bad choice of days for Bolding to try and escape, and especially so him ending up in Columbia County where they had an excess of K-9's because of training drills previously scheduled. Bolding faces charges of Hit and Run and Grand Theft, more charges from the DOC are expected in the coming days.


Several agencies including the Columbia County Sheriff's Office, Florida Highway Patrol, and the Suwannee County Sheriff's Office responded to reports of an escaped prisoner in the area of I-10 and I-75 on Thursday.

Detectives say James Bolding was driving when state troopers noticed him. They said he then crashed and ran away. He was later captured and taken back into custody.

Columbia deputies used K-9s to track Bolding in the area of Lake Jeffrey Road.