MANATEE -- A Manatee County jail inmate who escaped nearly two weeks ago has been caught, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.
At about 11:20 a.m. Saturday, Meren Thompson was arrested in Sanford, northeast of Orlando, after having walked away from the Manatee County Jail inmate farm, according to a news release.
Thompson, 43, escaped from the farm north of Palmetto around 2:20 p.m. Nov. 23. Sanford is about 140 miles from Palmetto.
Hours later, detectives think he was responsible for a stealing a car in Hillsborough County, about 4 miles north of the inmate farm.
Now, Thompson will face additional charges for escaping from Manatee authorities and for the carjacking in Hillsborough, the release said.
He is being booked into the Seminole County jail until he is transported to either Manatee or Hillsborough counties, according to the release.
Thompson was working in the aquatics area of the complex where inmates help farm and raise tilapia, Bristow said. Thompson had found a hole underneath the fence, believed to have been burrowed by an animal and Thompson continued to dig until he could escape, he said.
The fence is being repaired, according to authorities.
At the time of his escape, Thompson was serving time for contempt of court from a domestic-battery charge.
Jessica De Leon, Herald law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter @JDeLeon1012.