The U.S. Marshal’s Service and Macon Police arrested Michael Dowda around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday after receiving a tip that a stolen pickup truck was parked near a hotel and a restaurant.
He faces extradition to Mississippi and multiple charges, including escape.
Dowda was asleep inside the Chevrolet Silverado. He had painted the white pickup truck black, said Chris Felix of the U.S. Marshals Service in Oxford, Miss.
“We don’t know why he was there,” Felix said. “We put out (be-on-the-lookout alerts) throughout the southeast region and had people cooperating with information throughout the area.”
Dowda, 48, woke up when a deputy marshal turned on his flashlight to check the license plate, Felix said.
“He attempted to flee but deputies were able to block him in,” said Felix.
Dowda was serving a life prison term for the 1996 murder of Lynette Jarrett of Woolmarket when he disappeared from a maintenance detail on prison grounds Saturday. Jarrett, 25, the mother of two young children, was shot in the head. Dowda had buried her remains near Gulfport. Jarrett’s remains were recovered three months later.
Tara Booth, spokeswoman for the Mississippi Department of Corrections, says Dowda broke into a home on the prison grounds and stole two handguns from a safe on Saturday. He then allegedly stole that employee’s truck and drove away.