The inmate in Grundy County, Tennessee, who fled from the local health department Tuesday barefoot and wearing handcuffs and an orange prisoner jumpsuit is back in custody facing an escape charge, according to authorities.
Anthony Burnette, 35, of Coalmont, fled custody Tuesday after he was transported for a coronavirus test at the health department, running into the woods behind the facility, according to Grundy County Sheriff Clint Shrum.
The health department is just a couple of blocks from the Grundy County Jail in Altamont, the county seat of less than 1,100 people.
"We were able to make contact with him through a friend. He came to the jail," Shrum said.
Burnette turned himself in around 7:45 p.m. CDT Thursday. Shrum said. The sheriff said Burnette was uninjured, in good condition and had managed to get the handcuffs off and he was wearing shoes.
Tracking dogs and the Tennessee Highway Patrol's helicopter were used Tuesday evening to search for Burnette, according to THP spokesperson Lt. Bill Miller.
The area of the South Cumberland Plateau in Grundy County where Burnette fled is just a few miles from the treacherous terrain of the 15,500-acre Savage Gulf State Natural Area, which is crisscrossed with trails but not too many roads.
Burnette was being held on charges of drug possession and criminal trespassing, according to a statement from the sheriff's office. He now faces an additional charge of escape, Shrum said Friday.
Contact Ben Benton at email@example.com or 423-757-6569. Follow him on Twitter @BenBenton.