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Escaped inmate found in Columbus County

READ MORE: Whiteville parents and students stay safe
A Columbus County inmate who escaped Thursday morning has been found. Archie Funderburk was picking up trash on the side of 701 in Whiteville, when he took off into the woods nearby. He was spotted Saturday afternoon, about 300 yards from where he ran off. Armed Department of Corrections officers, along with state K-9 units, had been stationed near a wooded area off route 74/76 in Whiteville. City schools were on modified lockdown Friday. “They've been escorted to their classrooms, they haven't been allowed to roam, and the situation has been treated very well," said Barbara Campbell, a parent of a Whiteville Primary student. Thursday and Friday the doors at Whiteville Primary School were locked. Whiteville Primary has around 650 students, but on a day when the school in under moderate lockdown, you would never know that many students were on campus. Anyone school staff didn't recognize was asked to show identification. Principal Lynn Spaulding said it was just a precaution, but at least parents couls rest assured their children were safe at school. "The parents at Primary have been very cooperative, and appreciative of the procedures that were in place from our safe school plan," said Spaulding. Katie McLam, a Whiteville Primary parent said, "Everything was about making our children feel safe here, and I felt good about how things were handled." Although it took an extra second or two to unlock classroom doors before anyone entered or exited, Whiteville Schools Superintendent Dr. Randy Shaver said the lock down procedure seemed to work well. “We of course, like every school in NC, prepare for these things, and hope we never have to implement them. But when we got the call around 10:30 (Thursday) morning that there was an escapee, and law enforcement told us we needed to be in lockdown, everybody at the schools knew what to do. They implemented their plan and went very smoothly,” Shaver said. Officials were alerted of two sightings off Highway 74/76 Friday afternoon, but turned no leads until Saturday.

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