Local News

Barefoot's Adventure Becomes Clear As He Reveals His Trek

Posted November 10, 2004

— During his more than two weeks on the run, investigators say William Barefoot drove hundreds of miles, walked for days and stole to survive.

For 15 days William Barefoot was on the run and police were on the prowl. The Hoke County jail escapee was eventually captured Tuesday in the western part of the state.

After he was caught, the SBI said Barefoot talked about how he avoided capture.

On Oct. 25, Barefoot escaped from jail and stole a jailer's SUV. The same day he was spotted in Moore County, where he wrecked the vehicle and got away from deputies.

Over the next five days, Barefoot says he walked to Hope Mills -- that's about 40 miles.

He stayed in the woods and in empty houses. Along the way, the 40-year-old stole items to survive.

On Oct. 31, family members saw him, and law enforcement in Cumberland County launched an all out search.

After spending three more nights in the woods, Barefoot appeared again Nov. 3. That's when investigators say he tied up a brother and sister and stole their car. He told the couple he was heading to Chapel Hill.

The Marshall's Service now believes that was a decoy. Instead, the SBI says Barefoot told them he drove to South Carolina and ended up in Gaston County where he has acquaintances and knows the land.

He spent the next two days staying at abandoned houses and breaking into vehicles. Gaston Police say he stole guns from a home, too.

On Nov. 5, Barefoot is accused of swiping a truck and ditching it a short time later. Then for four days, he hid out in the woods, slept in a shack, and broke into a camper, trailer and shed.

He kept moving as he felt pressure.

The pressure caught up with him Tuesday night.

Barefoot is now at Central Prison in Raleigh where he is in solitary confinement 23 hours a day. He faces new charges in connection with his run from the law.

First, in Hoke County, Barefoot is charged with escaping, kidnapping one of the jailers, two counts of assault and stealing a vehicle.

In Cumberland County, he's accused of two counts each of robbery and kidnapping, as well as breaking and entering.

As for Gaston County, charges there pending.

Investigators say they're in no hurry to press charges now that Barefoot's in custody.

Barefoot is already serving 84 years in federal prison for shooting a law officer. U.S. Marshal's say it's important to prosecute him on the new charges to show others you can't escape and get away with it.

Tuesday, the U.S. Marshall's Service incorrectly said a second arrest was made in the case. The SBI says early in the investigation a warrant was issued for a non -family member that agents thought may have helped Barefoot stay on the run. But, that warrant was withdrawn Wednesday.

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