Chinese police caught a 63-year-old Chinese fugitive after drone footage located his makeshift hideaway embedded inside a remote hillside cave.
Song Moujiang escaped from prison in March 2002 and had evaded police capture for 17 years, police in Yongshan county said. Song had been jailed for trafficking women and children.
Police discovered his makeshift shelter in the mountains behind his hometown after their drone identified a blue colored steel tile amid the dense bush.
The man lived in the cave residence — which was less than 21 square feet — for so long that his communication skills were hindered, police said.
A man who escaped prison and remained a fugitive for 17 years was caught by Chinese police last week after drone footage revealed his makeshift hideaway embedded inside a remote hillside cave.
Police in Yongshan, a county in China's southwestern Yunnan province, revealed details of the discovery and photos of the man on WeChat last week.
The fugitive, 63-year-old Song Moujiang escaped a prison camp in the nearby Sichuan province in March 2002 and has been on the run ever since. He had been jailed for trafficking women and children. Police did not mention when Song was imprisoned.
The force said it had received a tip that Song was possibly hiding in the mountains behind his hometown of Yongshan County, though they had trouble searching for his location due to steep slopes and rocky terrain.
So police decided to employ the use of a drone in order to conduct their search, they said.
Police located Song's hideout on the morning of September 19 after drone footage identified a blue steel tile amid the dense bush. After more than an hour of hiking, police say they found Song's shelter, which was located in a cave on the cliff.
Police arrested the man inside, who confessed to escaping the prison camp and evading their capture for 17 years.
The man lived in the cave residence — which was less than two square meters or 21 square feet — for so long that his communication skills had become hindered, police said.
"He expressed himself poorly and there were slight barriers to his communication," police said.
During his stay in the cave Song used plastic bottles to get water from a nearby ravine, the BBC reported, citing state media.
He has now been sent back to jail, the BBC reported.
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