Escaped North Carolina inmate recaptured after leaving work site, kidnapping woman: Police

An escaped inmate in North Carolina who forced his way into a woman's home and abducted her has been recaptured, authorities said.

Billy Lee Smith, 42, walked off his job assignment Wednesday at the Marion Correctional Institution in Marion, North Carolina. He had been in minimum custody serving a 10-year sentence for drug trafficking when escaped, according to the North Carolina Department of Adult Correction.

Marion is about 36 miles east of Asheville, North Carolina, located in the western part of the state.

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After his escape, Smith forced his way into a woman's home in Marion, according to the McDowell County Sheriff's Office, abducted her and forced her to take him to Asheville. He later released the woman, police said, and fled into a wooded area in Asheville, where he was then arrested about five hours after his initial escape.

The woman has not been publicly identified, and the sheriff's office said the investigation is still ongoing.

Smith, who was originally projected to be released in 2028 before this week's escape, will now face escape charges, the North Carolina Department of Adult Correction said.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Escaped North Carolina inmate Billy Lee Smith recaptured: Police