Escaped child sex predator spends ‘peculiar’ 16-hour manhunt applying for job and eating free hotdog

Footage shows Tommy Wayne Boyd exiting the hospital on foot (St. Louis County PD / Twitter)
Footage shows Tommy Wayne Boyd exiting the hospital on foot (St. Louis County PD / Twitter)

A convicted child sex offender who escaped from a hospital this week was caught by authorities after a long manhunt during which he made several stops, including to pick up a free hotdog.

Tommy Wayne Boyd, a convicted child sex offender serving a 30-year prison sentence, walked out of a hospital in St Louis, Missouri on Thursday, authorities said.

He was convicted in a 2007 case of felony enticement of a child, according to a statement from the department. He was also convicted of sodomising an 11-year-old boy in October 1996.

He was taken to Mercy Hospital South from the Potosi Correctional Facility on Wednesday for treatment. Surveillance footage captured him leaving the facility by foot early on Thursday morning.

A manhunt was launched by federal, state and local authorities to find and recapture the 45-year-old.

Around 16 hours later he was “taken into custody without incident”, St Louis County Police said in a statement.

While Boyd was out, with over a hundred officers looking for him, he made several peculiar stops including applying for a job and eating a free hotdog.

“We’re still trying to hammer out the timeline for sure,” St Louis County’s lieutenant colonel Jason Law said, according to KSDK news. “He did some peculiar things along the way.

“What we’re trying to do is confirm that by either camera or by passerby that somebody may have seen him getting out of the sewer,” Mr Law said.

The felon reportedly stole a handcuff key from one of two guards who were supposed to be watching him at Mercy Hospital South early morning, according to the report by KSDK quoting sources.

He then hitched a ride from a stranger at a gas station across the street from the hospital. A few hours later, the police spotted a selfie of Boyd with a woman on social media.

“We did identify her,” Mr Law told the outlet. “But right now, the relationship with her is unknown.”

Then around afternoon he went to a voter registration event at Tower Grove Park.

“He apparently answered a couple of political questions and got a free hot dog,” Mr Law said.

Police thanked the community who provided “numerous tips to assist in locating this dangerous felon,” which led to his arrest.

“Our residents are safer tonight with Boyd in custody,” the statement said.