Authorities Find Man who Escaped Pickens Jail

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By Alicia Barnes

PICKENS, S.C. (AP) _ Authorities say an anonymous tip helped them locate an inmate who escaped two weeks ago from the Pickens County jail.

Sheriff's deputies say they found 41-year-old James Christopher Townsend just before 1 p.m. Wednesday at a home near Easley.

Deputies say Townsend walked away from the jail July 3. He was last seen cutting grass behind a fence that afternoon, but no one noticed he was missing until a 7 p.m. roll call.

Townsend is now charged with escape. He had been held for failure to pay child support and would have been eligible for release in December.

Jail director Keith Vinson said none of the jail's 18 cameras recorded the escape. Vinson has blamed a staffing shortage for the failure to keep tabs on the inmate.

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