An inmate who bolted from a work-release program in rural Pennsylvania and then allegedly killed a woman was captured Friday morning following a brief car chase, authorities said.
Robert Crissman's violent 24 hours on the run came to an end after he knocked on the door of a home in Boggs Township, just six miles from the Armstrong County Jail, where he had been serving time for violating probation on a drug charge before his escape, District Attorney Scott J. Andreassi said.
A woman in the house opened the door, and Crissman, 38, asked her for help, Andreassi said. She recognized him from police reports, however, and quickly shut the door and locked it. She called 911, and within minutes police arrived.
By then, Crissman had jumped into a truck parked in the driveway and fled. Police chased him along back roads until he attempted to ram a state police cruiser and lost control of the truck, Andreassi said. He was taken into custody at 8:40 a.m. and brought back to the jail, where he was being held on charges of murder, the theft of a gun and two trucks, assault on a police officer and escape.
Authorities are still investigating the circumstances of the killing, which occurred Thursday morning, after Crissman escaped from the jail while doling out meals to other inmates, law enforcement officials told Reuters.
Armstrong County is about 40 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.
From the jail, Crissman headed to the nearby home of Tammy Long, 55, where he encountered her and her boyfriend, both of whom knew him, Andreassi said. Officials have said they don't think Long realized Crissman was supposed to be in jail, according to NBC affiliate WPXI.
Not long afterward, Long's boyfriend left for work. Crissman then killed Long, authorities said.
The county coroner determined that Long had been strangled and beaten.
Crissman drove away from the murder scene in the couple's maroon 1999 Chevrolet Silverado, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.
Authorities now believe that Crissman never traveled more than 12 miles from the jail.