Man arrested in Mexico 15 years after escaping Louisiana jail, officials say

A man was arrested in Mexico 15 years after he escaped from a Louisiana jail while serving time for a burglary, officials said Friday.

Lonnie Joseph Payne, 44, is being held in Montgomery County Jail in Conroe, Texas, and will be moved to East Feliciana Parish Prison in Louisiana possibly on Monday, The Advocate reported. Jail records showed Payne was living in Cancun, Mexico prior to his arrest.

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Payne was in prison serving a 12-year sentence when he escaped in July 2003. The then-29-year-old inmate was trimming grass between two security fences earlier in the day and left one of the gates unlocked.

He returned to the area later, climbed the 8-foot outer fence and escaped, The Advocate reported.

It’s unclear how authorities located Payne.