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Third teen who escaped from Wilder Youth Development Center in early March in custody

The third teen was captured Thursday, March 30, in the Chattanooga area. The other two were captured earlier this month.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — U.S. Marshals said a third teen who escaped from the Wilder Youth Development Center (WYDC) in Fayette County earlier this month has been recaptured.

The three captured teens, all 17-years-old, face charges ranging from aggravated robbery and aggravated assault to felony reckless endangerment.

Thursday, March 30, 2023, Marshals said they learned the last juvenile was in the Chattanooga area in East Tennessee. The USMS Smokey Mountain Fugitive Task Force and Chattanooga Police Department arrested him without incident in Chattanooga.

Another teen was found in Cheatham County, Tennessee, just outside of Nashville, on March 21. The first teen who was found was located in Antioch in the Nashville area on March 14. 

Deputies started a search for the escaped teens shortly after 10 p.m. on March 11.

The development center did a headcount at 9:35 p.m. Saturday after receiving a call from a resident on Jefferson Dr. who said three men ran through their backyard, Fayette County Chief Deputy Ray Garcia said. 

Although WYDC was not initially aware that anyone had escaped the facility, they discovered the three 17-year-old teens were missing after completing the headcount.

Chief Deputy Garcia said a resident flagged deputies down at 12:17 a.m. on Sunday, March 12, in the 500 block of Old Jackson Rd., saying their Grand Cherokee Jeep was stolen.

After reviewing surveillance footage, deputies found that three teens were seen on video traveling westbound on Highway 64 in Shelby County in the stolen Jeep, Chief Deputy Garcia said. Deputies said they believe the escaped teens stole the vehicle.

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