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Fugitive Caught Living In Cave By Drones After 17 Years On The Run

Fugitive Caught Living In Cave By Drones After 17 Years On The Run

Song Jiang, 63, escaped from prison almost two decades ago

Claire Reid

Claire Reid

A fugitive who was on the run for 17 years has been caught after being spotted by drones.

Police in China say 63-year-old Song Jiang escaped from a prison camp in 2002 where he was being held for trafficking women and children.

Song had been living in a small cave in the mountains near to where he had been living in Yunnan province.

Drones caught a blue-steel tile on the cliff, which caught the attention of police.
Yongshan Police

Police in Yongshan say they were tipped off about Song's whereabouts earlier this month and carried out investigations in the area to see if they could spot any signs of him.

However, when these searches turned up no new information, they sent drones flying over the area.

The cameras were able to pick up what looked to be signs of human activity on a steep cliff.

Officers said: "As the lens slowly zoomed in, it was clear that there was a small cliff under the colour steel tile.

"There are traces of activity and domestic garbage outside the cave, which is very likely to be the hiding place of Song Jiang."

The man had been living inside a cave for years after escaping from prison.
Yongshan Police

After making the discovery, police visited the area on foot and found the fugitive in a small cave where he had reportedly been living 'for years'.

He had survived by collecting drinking water from a river using plastic bottles and from cutting down tree branches to light a fire.

Photos taken at the cave, which was reportedly so small an average-sized adult wouldn't be able to stand up in it, show a makeshift bed as well as tarnished, blackened pots which had seemingly been used to cook with.

Sharing the news of the arrest on the official Yongshan Police WeChat account, cops say he had been living in isolation for so long he found it difficult to communicate with other people.

Cops have said his lifestyle has 'devastated his body'.
Yongshan Police

Police said due to his living conditions Song had not been able to bathe or wash his clothes in a 'very long time' - adding that his lifestyle while in hiding had 'devastated' his body and that his mind will be 'psychologically tortured'.

He has since been sent back to prison.

Featured Image Credit: Yongshan Police

Topics: World News, crime