FULL PRESS RELEASE FROM CLAY COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE:
The Clay Co. Sheriff’s Office is proud to announce that John Douglas Graham was apprehended Monday night around 10:00 pm by sheriff’s deputies.
Graham was spotted by a citizen walking on Qualla Rd. toward US 64. The citizen called 911 and reported seeing him. The description given by the citizen matched Graham perfectly and also described items not published about Graham. This left little doubt about the identity of the person spotted as being Graham.
Deputies were dispatched to the area and a search dog was requested from Towns Co. Deputy Brandon Barrett from Towns Co. responded and brought a tracking dog to the scene.
The tracking dog started at the last place Graham was spotted and alerted on a scent. The dog went in the direction of US 64.
After tracking a short distance, the dog went off the road toward a barn. The barn was searched by deputies and it was determined that Graham was not in the barn. When the dog came back upon the road, it did not alert on the scent again.
Sheriff Davis along with Clay Co. deputies and Sheriff Keith Lovin from Cherokee Co. and his deputies began searching the area thoroughly where the dog lost the scent.
An old deserted house was located just across the road from where deputies were searching and Sheriff Davis sent deputies into the house to search.
John Graham was discovered hiding in the attic area of the house and was arrested without incident and transported to the Clay Co. Detention Center. He was charged with escape.
Sheriff Davis said that it is a big relief to have Graham back in custody and the sheriff is investigating the escape to see what needs to be done to prevent any further escapes from the detention center. Sheriff Davis said that this can happen at any detention center or prison but we have to learn from this and correct the situation so it doesn’t happen again.
Sheriff Davis would also like to thank the other agencies involved in helping search for the escapee. Those agencies that assisted are Sheriff Keith Lovin from Cherokee Co., Sheriff Chris Clinton from Towns Co. and Sheriff Robbie Holland from Macon Co. The North Carolina Highway Patrol also assisted along with the North Carolina Wildlife Commission.
ORIGINAL POST SUNDAY EVENING:
Clay County Sheriff’s Office reports to WKRK that an inmate escaped Sunday afternoon around 3:20 pm from the Clay County Detention Center.
According to Captain Melvin Cantrell, 48 year old John Douglas Graham, escaped from the sally port of the detention center, and was injured climbing the sharp wires at the top of the fence. He left evidence of blood behind.
Graham’s last known address is Blairsville, GA and it is reported that he has also been in the Cherokee County Detention Center in Murphy, North Carolina. Graham was being held on a $500,000 bond on child molestation charges.
Graham is described as 5’9″, dark shoulder length hair and a medium beard.
Since being arrested, Graham has let his hair grow. He weighs around 165 pounds. He has a tattoo on his left shoulder on the back that reads “Michelle” and on the right side on the back is “Candi” and 3 hearts together.
Graham was last seen wearing a white T-shirt, white tennis shoes and gray shorts.
Anyone with any information of the whereabouts of John Douglas Graham is asked to contact the Clay County Sheriff’s Office at 828-389-6354.
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