Escaped prisoner captured by Hernando County deputies

- After 20 hours on the run, escaped Hernando County inmate Joshua Holmes is back in custody.

Deputies say it was a longtime friend who turned him in.

Roxane Vanderveer says Holmes woke her up Thursday morning.

“I wake up to Josh tapping me going, ‘Hide me, hide me!’ And I’m still incoherent,” Vanderveer recalled.

Holmes had snuck into her home through an unlocked door. He was on the run, having walked away from his jail work detail a day earlier.

Deputies believe he stole a truck as part of the get-away.

“I guess maybe he thought we'd help him, but at the end of the day, my kids’ safety comes first. My safety comes first,” Vanderveer said.

Rather than making a call, and putting Holmes on alert, Vanderveer texted 911.

“Josh Holmes is in my house. I'm afraid to call. I have two small children in my house with me,” her text message to law enforcement read.

“It was really tough situation but, like I said, my kids come first. I’m not going to jail for anybody,” Vanderveer said.

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Photos show all the deputies that swarmed the house. Holmes was reported to be hiding in the attic when he was confronted by a deputy.

He did come out, eventually falling through the ceiling and leaping out a bedroom window. But he ended up in the arms of waiting deputies.

“To say we're glad it’s over is an understatement,” said Sheriff Al Nienhuis.

Holmes had been in jail for violation of probation and grand theft auto. He was due to be out in February. After his alleged escape, he could see several years tacked on.

His father, meanwhile, just wanted to get a message to his son.

“If he's watching, tell him I love him. That’s all I can say. I don’t know what got into you,” Josh’s father, Thomas Holmes said.

With Holmes back in custody, the sheriff says they'll be reviewing the work detail program to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

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