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Inmate who escaped from Lynchburg jail captured

James Pavlis
James Pavlis(WDBJ)
Published: Sep. 14, 2016 at 6:21 PM EDT
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The inmate who escaped from the Blue Ridge Regional Jail in Lynchburg has been found.

James Pavlis was found Wednesday evening around 5:45 p.m. Pavlis escaped Monday morning. Investigators found Pavlis just under 60 hours.

Pavlis was found between Concord Turnpike and the James River on Wednesday afternoon.

He was charged with escape, which is a Class 6 felony. According to

, Class 6 felonies often imprison violators between 1 and 5 years.

A news conference was held 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in Madison Heights.

According to investigators, Pavlis didn't have a release date. He had been convicted of his charges but hadn't yet been sentenced.

On Wednesday afternoon, detectives received a tip that led them to narrow their search to lower Madison Heights area near the James River. They used search dogs to comb the area.

They found Pavlis on Concord Turnpike around 5:45 p.m.

"Mr. Pavlis was actually sighted by some of the officers working this case between the river and the railroad tracks in that area. Ultimately they identified themselves as police and Mr. Pavlis was taken into custody without incident," said Major Ryan Zuidema, with the Lynchburg Police Department.

Police found no weapons on Pavlis. They said he had some small scratches and appeared to be dehydrated. He went to the Amherst County Adult Detention Center where he received medical treatment.

Neighbors say they are glad the search is over, but didn't think it would end so close to home.

"I got the alert via social media and that's how I heard about it and Lynchburg is a pretty safe area so I'm not afraid to walk outside and being fearful but it is something to be aware of," said Ashley Foster, who is a neighbor.

Police say they are still looking into how Pavlis was able to get past security.

"There's going to be two investigations. There's a criminal investigation that the Lynchburg Police Department conducted because this escape took part in our jurisdiction and then Mr. Trent staff will be conducting an investigation into procedures and things along those lines," said Zuidema.

Detectives said they are investigating whether anyone provided help of shelter to Pavlis. He is being charged with escape.

Here is the news release from the Lynchburg Police Department:

UPDATE: On Wednesday, September 14, 2016, around 1:30 p.m., the Lynchburg Police Department and the Blue Ridge Regional Jail Authority, in cooperation with multiple area law enforcement agencies, began searching for Pavlis in the lower Madison Heights area of Amherst County. These actions were taken after receiving tips from the public that Pavlis had been seen in that area after his escape.

Law enforcement K-9 resources were able to track where Pavlis had traveled in Amherst

County until they reached the location where Pavlis likely crossed the James River and into Lynchburg City. Additional resources were deployed to the opposite side of the river in the 2300-block of Concord Turnpike. Pavlis was ultimately located between the railroad tracks and the James River, where he was taken into custody at 5:38 p.m., in the city of Lynchburg, without further incident.

Pavlis was charged with Virginia Code § 18.2-479: Escape without force or violence, which is a Class 6 Felony. The case remains under investigation.

The Blue Ridge Regional Jail Authority and the Lynchburg Police Department wish to extend our thanks to the area law enforcement agencies and the citizens that assisted us in our efforts to locate Pavlis. The assisting agencies were as follows:

Amherst County Sheriff's Office

Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Conservation Police

Virginia Department of Corrections

Halifax County Sheriff's Office