Escapee seized in Goshen

Published 4:18 pm Monday, September 14, 2009

The search for an escaped Crenshaw County convict ended in Goshen Friday in a “peaceful surrender.”

Jeremy Baggett, 28, had been on the run since early Wednesday morning, when he fled the Crenshaw County Jail, and had last been seen heading toward Goshen late Thursday.

The search drew into Pike County Thursday night but was called off due to weather.

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Law enforcement continued their pursuits Friday morning, after relatives of Baggett notified officers he had been in their home.

“A couple left their trailer, and he had been in their home between 7:30 and 9:30 a.m.,” said Pike County Sheriff Russell Thomas. “They said they noticed he came and took camouflage pants, a shirt and shoes.”

Thomas said the Department of Corrections K-9 Unit was able to track Baggett’s scent all through the morning, but it seemed he was about three hours ahead of law enforcement.

The canines were able to track Baggett’s scent until they reached a pond near the trailer, where some of his clothes were found.

Plaid boxers and a wet sheet were retrieved from law enforcement, and the boxers matched those that he was wearing at the time he escaped.

“It could have been where he changed clothes because we didn’t find those clothes in the home,” Thomas said.

Officers called a helicopter and a thermal camera, with hopes they might find Baggett hiding in the pond but were unsuccessful.

The search was ultimately called off around 4 p.m.

That is, until Thomas received a call Friday night from Baggett’s relatives that he had returned.

“Family and friends contacted me, and I went to their residence, and he peacefully surrendered,” Thomas said. “I appreciate their cooperation.”

Baggett has been taken to the Pike County Jail, where Thomas said he will likely have another escape first-degree charge.

Prior to his escape, Baggett was being held in the Crenshaw County Jail on charges of burglary, domestic violence and criminal mischief. He also had an escape first-degree charge from when he escaped the jail in July.

The chase lasted for days, something Crenshaw County Deputy Ronnie White said happened because of Baggett’s lack of fear.

“He’s been staying in rivers, staying in ponds, and we thought he was in the swamp one night,” White said. “He’s doing stuff a normal person wouldn’t do. He’s just not afraid of anything.”

The Pike and Crenshaw Counties Sheriff’s Departments were assisted by the DOC, Alabama Department of Public Safety, Butler County Sheriff’s Department, Luverne Police Department, Dale County Sheriff’s Department and the Troy Police Department.