Inmate who escaped to see dying mother recaptured

March 16, 2009 7:29:49 PM PDT
Authorities say a convict and inspiration for a folk ballad about a man who stole a Wal-Mart trailer to see his dying mother has been captured in Florida, two weeks after escaping from custody in Georgia. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

The Polk County sheriff's office says it arrested 34-year-old Christopher Daniel Gay on Monday in the parking lot of a Lakeland Wal-Mart in a stolen tractor-trailer.

He had escaped in Kennesaw, Ga., on March 3, during transportation to Tennessee to face charges of stealing another trailer in January 2007 to try to get to his mother. He also is accused of stealing country singer Crystal Gayle's tour bus.

Gay is the main character in a 2007 song, "The Ballad of Christopher Daniel Gay," by Grammy-award winning bluegrass picker Tim O'Brien.

Police say he never did see his mother who soon died.

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