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Wednesday, 20 May 2009 17:00

Swain jail escapees returned to NC

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A murder suspect and the guard who allegedly helped him escape from the Swain County jail have been returned to North Carolina.

Former jailer Anita Vestal arrived at the Macon County Detention Center Monday (May 18), said Macon County Sheriff Robbie Holland. Inmate Jeffrey Miles is being held at a prison in Raleigh, according to Asheville Citizen-Times reports.

Vestal and Miles have been held in a Vallejo, Calif., jail since they were captured at a motel in the area April 19 after nearly a month on the run.

Investigators believe Miles used a key that Vestal provided him to unlock a door and let himself out of jail on March 21. Miles then hid in a van that Vestal drove to her apartment. The pair left in Vestal’s father’s Ford Ranger pickup.

Miles and Vestal waived extradition, which expedited their return to North Carolina. They were driven back to the state by officials with the North Carolina Department of Corrections.

Holland said the Swain County Sheriff’s Department asked him to hold Vestal at the Macon Detention Center prior to her return to the state.

“I think the fact of the matter is because she’s a former employee for the Swain Sheriff’s office, it’s very appropriate for her to be held at a different facility,” Holland said.

Vestal is being held in the women’s section of the prison, and has not had additional security extended to her.

Holland said he had no idea if the arrangement was permanent. The Swain County Sheriff’s Department and the district attorney’s office will decide when and if Vestal is moved.

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