Seminole County Jail escapee captured in Bainbridge

Published 12:14 pm Monday, August 25, 2014

Bland

Benjamin Bland

A Seminole County Jail inmate who escaped Saturday afternoon in Donalsonville was captured in Bainbridge this morning and taken back into custody.

Seminole County Sheriff Heath Elliot said Benjamin Bland, 37, was found in the woods across the street from River Chase Drive on Faceville Highway.

“He came walking out of the woods and turned himself over to Seminole County,” Decatur County Captain Greg McMillan, who was part of the search, said.

The Decatur County Sheriff’s Office received a call around 7 a.m. Monday reporting Bland was knocking on a resident’s door in the River Chase Drive area. He was gone before Decatur County deputies arrived on the scene.

Sunday, Decatur County had bloodhounds and helicopters searching for Bland, who disappeared from the Seminole County Courthouse Saturday afternoon while doing inmate labor on the grounds.

“Donalsonville has cameras scattered around the city,” Elliot said. “We looked back on the cameras (and saw he) pulled his jumpsuit off and walked toward the post office.”

The Decatur County Sheriff’s Office is familiar with Bland, according to Sheriff Wiley Griffin.

“This is someone we are familiar with, there is a history,” Griffin said. “All our officers know him.”

Elliot said the punishment for escape is five more years tacked on to his original sentence. Bland was arrested July 24 and charged with two counts of theft by taking and a parole violation.