Local News

Authorities find escaped inmate in Benson home's crawlspace

Posted September 13

— Authorities on Wednesday captured an inmate who escaped from Greene County Correctional facility in Maury after an hours-long search in Benson.

Daroyl Little Jr., 23, was a minimum custody inmate serving a sentence for habitual felony breaking and entering. His projected release date was November 2018.

Benson police responded around 1:30 a.m. to a disturbance at a home along Benton and Whittington Streets and the Raymond Sanders Apartment complex. Officers could not find the disturbance.

A second disturbance call came in around 5:30 a.m. in the same apartment complex, police said. The second time, officers found two people who were in an argument.

Officers talked with the men, and one of them gave authorities a fake name. The man, later identified as Little, was detained by police at the scene, but he escaped custody.

Daroyl Little Jr.

Police learned Little was listed as incarcerated at Greene County Correctional in Maury.

A Johnston County sheriff's deputy who was getting off duty spotted Little in the woods, and K-9 officers were brought in to track him near a home in the 800 block of N. Lincoln Street.

Authorities were searching for Little in the woods near North Lincoln Street and heard a security alarm going off at a nearby house.

Authorities searched the property and found Little in the crawlspace beneath the home. He was still in handcuffs from his arrest earlier in the morning.

He was arrested around 10:30 a.m. without incident.

Both Benson Middle School and Benson Elementary School were notified of the situation, and officers were stationed at those locations.

Neighbors watched as dozens of officers descended on their community.

Diana Rollins, who has three children, said she was terrified to learn that the inmate had entered the crawlspace beneath her neighbor's home and found his way into the garage.

"I have the same carport setup," Rollins said. "There's a closet in mine. He could have easily picked my house."

"And then to find out he had been hiding in my neighbor's crawlspace right across the street. I think I'm going to put a lock on my crawlspace," neighbor Debra Wiggins said.

Then police dogs picked up Little's scent in the woods near the home.

"The K9 teams were really helpful in this particular episode," said town manager Matt Zapp.

The Johnston County Sheriff's Office, North Carolina Highway Patrol, the Benson Police Department and the Department of Public Service responded to the incident.

Little is being held at North Carolina Central Prison. He was set to be released in November of 2018, but that could change after the incident.

"We weren't prepared for this, but we're glad everybody was safe, and everybody did a great job," Rollins said.

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