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Lincoln escapee caught near beach

LINCOLNTON -- An inmate who escaped from a state prison unit Thursday in Lincoln County is back in custody after being caught several hours later by police near Myrtle Beach.

Ronald Billings, 38, was reported missing about 2:45 p.m. Thursday from his job site in Lincolnton. Billings, who is serving a seven-year sentence for breaking and entering, forgery and other property crimes, had been in a work-release program.

He was housed at the Lincoln Correctional Institute, a minimum security prison.

But state prison officials say police in Conway, S.C., found Billings about 9:45 p.m. He spent the night in the Horry County Jail, authorities say.

Officials say an alleged accomplice, Delora Miller, faces charges of aiding and abetting escape.

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