PANAMA CITY, Fla. -Two convicted murderers, who got out of prison using forged documents, have been captured in the Florida Panhandle.
Joseph Jenkins and Charles Walker were arrested Saturday just before 6:30 p.m. at the Coconut Grove Motor Inn in Panama City.
The arrests ended a manhunt for the men who were freed from the Franklin County Prison, just 80 miles away, several weeks ago.
Panama City police got a tip two days ago that the two men were staying on Panama City Beach. On Saturday, they tracked them to a motel, surrounded the room and ordered the fugitives to come out.
Florida Department of Law Enforcement, along with the U.S. Marshal's Service, tracked them down inside Room 227 at the Coconut Grove Motor Inn motel. About 20 members of the task force surrounded the room.
"A minute later, both Walker and Jenkins came out with their hands up," said Ruth Corley of the Bay County Sheriff's Office. "The take down happened without incident."
At a news conference held Saturday afternoon, members of the convicts' families called on the men to end this manhunt peacefully.
"Charles is there anything too hard for God?" said Walker's mother, Lillie Danzy. "God knows who you are, I know who you are, your family knows who you are, and we want you to return home safely."
Investigators are not giving many details about how the duo was captured. But the two men were serving life sentences for murder when they concocted an elaborate prison-break plot, investigators said. Someone forged signatures on court documents to get them released.
"(We) would like to thank the citizens of Orange County and those statewide for their assistance in this investigation," the Orange County Sheriff's Office said in a written statement.
The two men will likely appear in front of a Bay County judge at 10 a.m. Sunday.
And now that the manhunt is over, law enforcement officials will conduct an investigation to find out how the men were able to forge release documents.