CAUGHT: Two escaped inmates captured in Catawba County

Escaped NC inmates caught in hotel

CATAWBA COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - Two correctional center inmates have been captured after escaping from a facility in Catawba County the night of June 25.

The North Carolina Department of Public Safety says 28-year-old Nhia Vue and 35-year-old Juan McDonald were seen in “the yard” at the Catawba Correctional Center around 9 p.m. before disappearing from the facility.

Vue and McDonald were captured around 12:30 p.m. Monday without incident at the Baymont by Wyndham hotel in Hickory, N.C. Both inmates will face escape charges.

Vue, 28, was serving a seven-year, nine-month sentence for drug trafficking and had been scheduled for release on April 24, 2025. McDonald, 35, was serving a three-year, five-month sentence for speeding to elude arrest and had been scheduled for release on Nov. 6, 2020.

The two escapees were captured in a hotel room by members of the Division of Prisons’ Emergency Response Team and K-9 units, and the Hickory Police Department, who took into custody two other individuals who were in the hotel room.

Also assisting in the search were law enforcement officers from the Newton and Long View police departments and the Catawba and Burke County sheriff’s offices. The Department of Public Safety is investigating the circumstances surrounding the escapes.

The United States Marshals Service - Carolinas Regional Fugitive Task Force (CRFTF) also assisted in this investigation.

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