Inmate attempts to escape Perry Correctional in Greenville

David Cauthen

An inmate attempted to escape from Perry Correctional Institution, a maximum security prison, in Greenville County on Sunday. 

According to the South Carolina Department of Corrections during a routine check on Sunday morning David Rollings Cauthen, 54, was missing from his cell. 

Greenville County Sheriffs responded to the escaped inmate call around 12 p.m., according to dispatch officials.

A perimeter was set up around Perry Correctional. Several nearby roads were shut down, including road closures on Reedy Fork Road, during the search. 

The roadway has since reopened.  

Shortly before 2:30 p.m. the SCDC announced Cauthen was found hiding under a storage container for construction materials on the prison grounds. 

State records show Cauthen was sentenced to life in prison for murder back in 2006. 

According to WIS in Columbia, in 2004 investigators say Cauthen stabbed his girlfriend, Brenda Steen, at her apartment in Lancaster County. 

The Lancaster News reports Cauthen fled to Virginia and then to Lousiana where he worked as a roofer in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. 

In 2006, the television show “America’s Most Wanted” picked up the case and featured Cauthen. 

According to the Lancaster News after the show aired federal marshals finally found him and arrested him. 

Sunday’s attempted escape is not the first for Cauthen. According to SCDC online records, Cauthen attempted to escape in July 2018 and was involved in an “other escape related” incident in 2016.

A spokesperson for SCDC tells 7News no inmates have escaped from Perry Correctional in 2019 or 2018. 

SLED, Greenville County Sheriffs and institution security worked in conjunction with SCDC Police Services on the case.

We’ll continue to update this story as more information becomes available. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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