CAUGHT: Escaped Okeechobee prisoner arrested in Indian River

The Sheriff's Office apprehends escaped Okeechobee inmate Timothy Howton-McLaughlin west of Vero Beach. [Photo provided: Indian River County Sheriff's Office]

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — The Okeechobee prisoner who escaped from a work camp yesterday was captured this morning in Indian River County.

Timothy Howton-McLaughlin was apprehended after witnesses reported seeing him and deputies and K-9 responded, taking chase.

“Glad to have him back in custody and off the streets,” the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office said in its announcement via Twitter.

Howton-McLaughlin was serving an 8-year sentence for trafficking in stolen property and burglary, according to court records. He had already served almost two years before his escape attempt.


INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — A prisoner who escaped from the Department of Corrections in Okeechobee County was last seen near the Countryside neighborhood on the west side of Vero Beach.

The escapee has been identified as Timothy Howton-McLaughlin, who was part of a work camp. He stole a Department of Corrections truck, which was recovered at the Countryside of Vero Beach’s clubhouse. According to authorities, Howton-McLaughlin went there, to his mother’s home, while she was gone and changed his clothes.

Howton-McLaughlin was later seen wearing blue jeans, a blue collared shirt, and black sneakers running east of Countryside and into the wooded area.

Authorities believe he may still be traveling on foot. He is known to visit homeless camps in western Indian River County, the Sheriff’s Office said.

K-9 units from the Okeechobee Correctional Institute, including bloodhounds, are continuing their search.

The Indian River County Sheriff’s Office encourages the public to report anything suspicious and, if you believe you have seen Howton-McLaughlin, do not approach – call 9-1-1.

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