The convicted baby killer who escaped a New Jersey prison was captured Monday after nearly a week on the lam, authorities announced.
Police said that 38-year-old Arthur Buckel was captured Monday, six days after he escaped from Bayside State Prison's Ancora unit in Hammonton.
Lacey Township Police Chief David Paprota told NBC 4 New York that a motorist saw a man in the woods Monday morning and pulled into the Forked River rest area -- where Buckel was last spotted Sunday night -- and told police.
Paprota said that an officer from his department and the state Department of Corrections went to check the tip and saw a man about 20 yards off the highway. The Lacey police officer drew his weapon and ordered Buckel to stop, and the DOC officer made the arrest.
"The outcome of something like this is usually the opposite of what you expect," Paprota said.
Afterward, he was taken to a prison medical center for evaluation.
The capture sparked a traffic slowdown on the busy New Jersey highway Monday morning.
Buckel — who was serving time for aggravated assault, drug possession and burglary but had been previously convicted of manslaughter in the death of a 10-month-old baby — had planned to turn himself in at the rest area Sunday night and had been working with police and family members. But he ran off shortly before a meet-up with authorities there.
Police searched the woods in the hours that followed and boosted patrols and security at schools Monday morning before the prisoner was captured.
Buckel had been on the run since Tuesday, when guards at Ancora noticed that he was missing during a bed check that morning. He was also spotted late last week at a CVS in Ocean County's Barnegat Township, prompting lockdowns at schools there.
Residents living in the area said they were glad the convict was back in custody.
"I was terrified," said Stephanie Shea of Bayville.
Shea said she got a notification from her son's school and was worried that Buckel could snatch her son.
"When I got the message school was open, it was like a pit in my stomach," she said.
Buckel was set to be eligible for parole on May 21, but he could face an additional 3 to 5 years behind bars for the escape along with additional sentences for crimes he may have committed while he was on the run.
The DOC's special investigation division is looking into how Buckel broke out of prison.