WAXAHACHIE — An Ellis County Grand Jury indicted a Grand Prairie resident on who left an inmate work detail on Sept. 13 and led officers from multiple agencies on a two-day search.
David Weldon Rowe, 67, was found after an extensive two-day search by law enforcement. Rowe was indicted by the grand jury on the charge of escaping from custody.
The indictment stated Rowe allegedly escaped from the care of an Ellis County Detention Officer on June 12. At the time Rowe had been charged with driving a motor vehicle while intoxicated — third or more.
According to a June 13 Daily Light article, the two-day search took place between the Waxahachie and Maypearl city limits.
Ellis County Sheriff’s PIO Sgt. Joe Fitzgerald stated, at the time, that Rowe was arrested without incident at approximately 2 p.m. on June 13. A search team located Rowe in a creek bed in the 100 block of Leisure Road near Cox Road. Medical personnel treated the Grand Prairie resident after his capture.
The manhunt began after Rowe walked away from a work detail at approximately 9:40 a.m. on June 12 near Hoyt Road along Farm-to-Market 1446.
A warrant was procured from Ellis County Pct. 1 Justice of Peace Judge Joyce Lindauer that lists Rowe as being wanted for escape, which, under Texas Penal Code 38.06, is a third-degree felony.
Rowe was assigned to the Ellis County Sheriff’s Alternative Prisoner Program and, at the time of his escape, was cutting grass at a county facility near the intersection of Hoyt Road and Farm-to-Market Road 1446 in Waxahachie.
Fitzgerald said an inmate has to be a non-violent offender, each inmate is judged on a case-by-case basis and the final decision to be a part of this program is determined by the staff at the detention center.
During the search, the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office solicited assistance from Waxahachie Police, the Texas Department of Public Safety, Maypearl Police, Ellis County Constable Pct. 2, Dallas Police Air 1, DPS Air 101, and officers from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Officers also utilized K-9 units, horseback, and helicopters.
According to online records from the Wayne McCollum Detention Center, in addition to the escape while arrested or confined charge Rowe has charges from the Midlothian Police Department for driving while intoxicated — third or more — and evading arrest or detention with a vehicle.
He was also being held on a disorderly conduct charge from the Dallas Police Department and two failures to appear charges for fraud ($500 - $2,500) from the Lea County Sheriff’s Office out of Lovington, New Mexico. Rowe has bonds totaling $130,520 and remains in custody as of 1:30 p.m. Friday.