A five-day-search for a convicted murderer who escaped from prison for the third time ended early Tuesday in Maine.
Corrections Commissioner Joseph Fitzpatrick says 65-year-old Arnold Nash escaped last Thursday evening from the minimum security unit at the Mountain View Correction Facility in Charleston.
Nash, 65, was recaptured Tuesday morning after being spotted walking along a road in Dover, Maine around 7 a.m., according to the Maine Department of Public Safety. The Dover-Foxcroft Police Department said he was walking in the direction of the prison facility when he was apprehended. He has been brought to the Piscataquis County Jail in Dover-Foxcroft, police say.
Prior to this prison break, Nash was serving a 45-year sentence for murdering his 58-year-old neighbor in a cabin in North Sullivan back in 1992, according to the Press Herald.
Nash was scheduled for an early release next year. He has served 26 of the 45-year sentence.
His criminal history dates back to 1973, police say, as does his history of escaping prison.
Officials say Nash had two prior escapes from different prison facilities, according to the Press Herald. The second one, which took place in 1981 and included another inmate named Milton Wallace, resulted in one of the most notorious manhunts in Maine's history, dubbed the "Moody Mountain Manhunt." The 22-day search required over 100 officers, 18 police dogs, a plane, and a helicopter, according to the Bangor Daily News.
During a Monday afternoon press conference, Maine Department of Corrections Commissioner Joseph Fitzpatrick floated the idea that Nash had spent much of his life in prison and that his escape may have been his way of ensuring he would go back to prison.
When asked why a convicted murderer with two previous escape attempts was in a minimum security prison in the first place—one that was unfenced—the department said Nash was preparing to reintegrate to society.
"Mr. Nash was being treated as any other individual would have been treated. If you look at the crime, I think it was horrific," Fitzpatrick said, adding that Nash would have become more of a risk if he remained in a maximum security prison up until his release. He said evidence and studies back that decision up.
Maine Department of Corrections did not immediately respond to Oxygen.com’s request for comment.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
[Photo: Mountain View Correctional Facility]