One of two escaped inmates caught

Published 11:02 am Friday, August 17, 2018

One of two Troup County inmates wanted for escape was caught on Hamilton Road Friday morning by officers from Troup County Sheriff’s Office and the LaGrange Police Department.  According to TCSO Sgt. Stewart Smith, they received a call that Eric Bell, 28 was seen around 9:30 a.m. Cedar Street near Hamilton Road.

“The LaGrange PD and TCSO deputies converged in the area and located him very quickly on Hamilton Road, and he was taken in to custody without incident,” Smith said.

Smith said Bell was arrested by TCSO deputies.

Bell was discovered missing after he was not present at a roll call Thursday. Officers went to his cell and found a hole in his dorm’s ceiling, which led to a hole in the roof.

Inmate Thomas Cuddington, 28, was also discovered missing after officers did a second headcount.

There was speculation Thursday night that Cuddington was hiding at the West Point Motel. Smith said they cannot confirm it was Cuddington.

“We checked that last night and there was a white male when we pulled up in the area who fled,” Smith said. “We can’t confirm it was Cuddington or just somebody else in the area who may have had warrants or something. We don’t know, we checked the area for quite some time and didn’t locate anything.”

Along with previous charges, Bell will now have an additional charge of felony escape and possible other charges, Smith said.

The TCSO added a $1,000 reward for offering information on the whereabouts of both inmates Friday morning.

According to Troup County Webjail, Bell was originally in jail on charges of a schedule 5 controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance not in its original container, criminal trespass, failure to appear, two counts of riot in a penal institution, sentences state and unlawful acts of violence in a penal institution. He was arrested Nov. 29, 2017.

Cuddington is 5-foot-8-inches, 150 pounds and white. His last known address is 1506 Phillips Road in Warm Springs.

Cuddington was originally charged with amphetamine possession, obstruction, operating vehicle without headlights/lights requirement, failure to show proof of insurance, riding motorcycle without a helmet, operating vehicle without driver’s license and holding for another agency. He was arrested June 10.

Anyone with information on Cuddington’s location is encouraged to contact the TCSO at (706) 883-1616 or Troup County Crime Stoppers at (706) 812-1000.