DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - An escaped prisoner who evaded a manhunt across the Southeast by stealing three vehicles, including singer Crystal Gayle's tour bus, has been arrested, authorities said.
Christopher Daniel Gay, 32, was arrested around 11 p.m. Friday at the Daytona International Speedway where he had been watching a race, said Lt. Patrick Myers, spokesman for the Daytona Beach Police.
Gay fled from a prisoner transport van last Sunday near Hardeeville, S.C., police said. Authorities have said his motive for escaping was to see his terminally ill mother; it was unclear if he ever made it.
Police suspect Gay of stealing a pickup truck in South Carolina, and then the cab of a tractor-trailer in Georgia. He allegedly drove to Manchester, Tenn., where on Monday he hooked the cab up to a Wal-Mart trailer filled with $300,000 in merchandise and took off again, police said.
He abandoned the rig within 50 yards of his mother's house north of Nashville, and fled into a wooded area after Tennessee police spotted the truck Tuesday, authorities said.
He was spotted driving a tour bus at USA International Speedway in Lakeland on Thursday night, but drove off after speedway officials became suspicious and asked him for identification, police said.
A license-plate check showed the bus belonged to Crystal Gayle, whose hits include "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue." Gayle didn't know the bus was missing from a Nashville garage until speedway officials called, police said.