It’s over! Escapee baby-killer Arthur Buckel captured
Fugitive Arthur Buckel was captured along the Garden State Parkway just before noon on Monday.
Ocean County Prosecutor's Office spokesman Al Della Fave said that Buckel was captured without incident on the northbound Parkway at mile marker 76.6.
Lacey Township police Chief David Paprota said a motorist reported seeing someone in the woods near a highway rest stop Monday. He said a 20-year police veteran, detective Keith Pearce, tracked Buckel down nearby and held him at gunpoint as a state corrections officer took him into custody.
Paprota says Pearce told him Buckel appeared fatigued and didn't resist.
Department of Corrections spokesman Syed Hassan said Buckel is being evaluated by a medical team at a secure facility. "He will then be interviewed by the department's special investigation division to determine the circumstances that led to the escape" as part of the overall investigation into Buckel's escape said Hassan, could not reveal where Buckel would go next.
Lacey Police said Buckel — who escaped from a work detail at the Ancora Hospital of Bayshore State Prison in South Jersey last Tuesday — had notified family he wanted to turn himself in and arrangements were made with New Jersey State Police to meet at the service area near exit 77.
But he left the area before surrendering, authorities said. Lacey Police, Berkeley Police, State Police and the New Jersey Department of Corrections set up a command post and began a search of the immediate area.
Lacey Township and Berkeley Police along with the Department of Corrections and New Jersey State Police began a search for Buckel.
State Police said the Department of Corrections made the collar Monday. Department of Corrections Commissioner Gary M. Lanigan in a statement thanked all the law enforcement agencies that assisted with the search for Buckel. "It’s through this level of cooperation and teamwork that positive results can be achieved. I am deeply grateful to each and every one of you," Lanigan said. He also thanked residents whose lives were disrupted by the search and who offered infomation that led to Buckel's apprehension.
In 1996, Buckel pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter for slapping his girlfriend’s baby to death. He was released in 2010, but jailed again after charges of burglary, possession and aggravated assault charges that date back to 2014.
Buckel was the subject of a massive search in Barnegat last week. The New Jersey Department of Corrections took back the lead in the search after announcing he was no longer believed to be in Barnegat.
The Associated Press contributed to this report