DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – An escaped prisoner who evaded a manhunt across the Southeast by stealing three vehicles, including singer Crystal Gayle's tour bus, has been arrested, authorities said.
Christopher Daniel Gay, 32, was arrested late Friday in Daytona Beach, according to the Volusia County Sheriff's Office. No additional details were available, and a police spokesman did not immediately return a call seeking comment Saturday.
Gay escaped from a prisoner transport van on Jan. 21 unday near Hardeeville, S.C., police said. Authorities have said his motive for fleeing was to see his terminally ill mother.
Authorities suspect Gay of stealing a pickup truck in South Carolina, and then the cab of a tractor-trailer in Georgia. He allegedly drove to Manchester, Tenn., where on Monday he hooked the cab to a Wal-Mart trailer filled with $300,000 in merchandise and took off again, police said. He abandoned the rig within 50 yards of his mother's house north of Nashville and fled into a wooded area after Tennessee authorities spotted the truck Tuesday, police said.
He was spotted Thursday night driving a tour bus at USA International Speedway in Lakeland, but drove off after speedway officials became suspicious and asked him for identification, police said.
A license plate check showed the bus belong to Crystal Gayle, whose hits include "Don't It Make Your Brown Eyes Blue." Gayle didn't know the bus was missing from a Nashville garage until speedway officials called, police said.
Gay was being held at the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach. He was charged with grand theft auto, and he also had three outstanding warrants from Tennessee, jail officials said.
At the time of his escape, he was being sent to Pell City., Ala., on warrants charging him to appear on escape and felony charges.
There was no immediate indication Saturday if Gay was represented by an attorney.