Convicted Kidnapper Captured After Week On The LooseAP , Associated Press
Jul. 11, 1985 5:30 PM ET
BLOSSOM, TEXAS BLOSSOM, Texas (AP) _ Convicted kidnapper James Wesley Foote, who escaped from jail a week ago and walked across several North Texas counties, was captured Thursday in his parents' hometown, authorities said.
Authorities tracked Foote down after being tipped that he was hiding in a house in this community outside Paris, about 150 miles northeast of the Johnson County Jail in Cleburne, Lamar County Sheriff's Lt. Jerry Robbins said.
Robbins said Foote, 34, was wearing only drawstring trousers and was covered with insect bites when he was arrested. He told authorities he was on his way to see his parents.
Foote said he had walked through much of Tarrant County, reached Interstate 30 and got a lift a short distance, then called a friend who gave him a ride part of the way. The rest of the way he walked, sleeping most nights in wooded areas.
Robbins said Foote was arrested before noon ''without any incident. There was no one else in the house.''
Officials had feared that Foote might be on his way to seek revenge against the family of 13-year-old Amy McNiel. Her kidnapping in January ended in Foote's capture after a shootout with police.
He was sentenced to life in prison and was serving time in the state prison in Huntsville. But Foote fled July 4 from the jail after he was taken there for questioning about a robbery.
''What a load off my shoulders. I can't believe in the 20th century you'd have to be concerned about outlaws,'' said Don McNiel of Alvarado, Amy's father, who had offered a $2,000 reward for Foote's capture.
He said the reward would be paid to the unidentified tipster who told police that Foote was in Blossom.
''I'm relieved,'' Amy said. ''We've had a guard outside all the time and I haven't been able to go anywhere since all this started.''
As he was led back to jail Thursday, Foote told The Paris News that revenge against the McNiels ''never entered my mind.
''If it had of, I would never have been up here. I should have been down there,'' he said, referring to Alvarado, which is near the jail.