13-year-old murder suspect escapes custody in North Carolina

Teen was at court for hearing

By Jason Hanna and Joe Sutton, CNN
Robeson Co. Sheriff's Office via CNN

Jericho W.

(CNN) - A 13-year-old murder suspect who escaped from officers following a court appearance in the North Carolina city of Lumberton this week is back in custody, officials said Wednesday.

The boy, identified by state authorities only as Jericho W., is in the custody of US Marshals, said Matthew Jenkins, a spokesman with the North Carolina Department of Public Safety. The teenager was expected to be transferred to a juvenile facility Wednesday night.

Jenkins declined to give any details about the teenager's capture.

Jericho fled around noon on Tuesday from a Department of Social Services building where juvenile court hearings are held, the Robeson County Sheriff's Office said.

He was in court to face two counts of first-degree murder and a charge of robbery with a dangerous weapon, the sheriff's office said. Several law enforcement agencies were looking for him, including by air with the help of helicopters, authorities said.

Authorities said they had "a high degree of concern for the safety of both the juvenile and the public" because of his "prior history of assaultive and unpredictable behavior," the state Department of Public Safety said.

Details about how the boy escaped weren't immediately released. He had made a juvenile court appearance Tuesday morning, the public safety department said. He was seen in the facility wearing leg restraints and no shoes, according to the sheriff's office.

The public safety department said state law prohibits it from releasing details about the charges against Jericho because he is a juvenile. The law, however, says authorities may release the first name and last initial of certain juvenile escapees.

CNN's Sheena Jones and Tina Burnside contributed to this report.

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