Sheriff: Reward money for capture of escaped inmates will be paid

PUTNAM COUNTY, Ga. — Putnam County's sheriff said he's confident there will be reward money given to the people who helped lead to the arrests of two escaped inmates.

Sheriff Howard Sills sent Channel 2 Action News a statement Sunday that said right now they are looking into the facts about “who or whom may be entitled to the reward and will make an announcement when those matters are decided."

Law enforcement captured Ricky Dubose and Donnie Rowe Thursday in Tennessee after a manhunt that lasted more than two days.

The suspects ran into some woods and later surrendered to a homeowner.

The two men were on the run since early Tuesday, accused of killing Sgt. Christopher Monica and Sgt. Curtis Billue.

Georgia Department of Corrections Commissioner Greg Dozier said in a news release that he was relieved the two inmates were captured and no longer a threat to the public.

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"They will be brought to justice swiftly for their heinous crime against our officers," Dozier said while also expressing gratitude to all of the law enforcement officers who provided support and assistance in the search for the two men.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal applauded the "tireless efforts" of law enforcement but also turned his thoughts to the families of the two officers, saying their pain remains.

"We will do everything in our power to support their loved ones, and we will not forget their sacrifice and service," Deal said.

The two inmates then fled in the stolen Honda Civic and drove about 25 miles north to Madison, where they ransacked a home, stealing food and clothes and leaving their prison uniforms behind around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Late Tuesday night, about 12 hours after the home burglary, the pair stole a Ford pickup truck from a rock quarry about 9 miles from the burglarized home. That's when the trail went cold.

Federal, state and local authorities pleaded with the public Thursday to keep an eye out for the two men and the white pickup truck.

The FBI announced a tip line, wanted posters and a $130,000 reward would appear in multiple states.

Authorities warned that the men, who had escaped with the guards' 9 mm pistols, were considered very dangerous.

Monica and Billue were transfer sergeants at Baldwin State Prison. Monica had been with the Georgia Department of Corrections since October 2009 and Billue since July 2007.

Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills said the escaped inmates had been inside a secured area of the bus. He said he did not know how they got through the locked cage to overpower the guards.

Protocol is to have two armed corrections officers on the bus, but the officers don't wear bulletproof vests during transfers, Corrections Commissioner Greg Dozier said.

Both escapees were serving sentences for armed robbery and other crimes. The Department of Corrections said Rowe, 43, had been serving life without parole since 2002, and Dubose, 24, began a 20-year sentence in 2015.