An escaped criminal from Florida was reportedly found later in an elderly couple’s house wearing the homeowner’s pajamas and taking a nap.
Eryn Rice, 22, was detained by Volusia County Sheriff's deputies around 6:30 a.m. on Dec. 13, 2015, after she reportedly tried to shoplift hundreds of dollars' worth of cosmetics from a CVS store in in Deltona, Florida.
John Willey, Rice's alleged accomplice, drove off as authorities arrested Rice, WFTV reported. The officer got one handcuff onto Rice's left wrist before she turned around, pushed the deputy to the ground, and escaped on foot.
K-9 dogs and a helicopter were called in to assist in finding her, but Rice managed to evade the search party and reportedly broke into an elderly couple’s house.
The 73-year-old homeowner, whose husband left to play golf that morning, found the escaped suspect in her guest bedroom, wearing her husband’s pajamas and taking a nap. Rice had allegedly washed her clothes in the couple’s laundry room.
At first, the woman thought her husband was having an affair with the suspect and called him asking him for an explanation. When her husband came home, he told his wife that he had never seen the strange woman before. Rice told the woman that she had an acute sleepwalking problem, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
The wife said she felt bad for the escaped criminal after hearing her reason for intruding and asked if she wanted some cereal for breakfast. Nonetheless, she became suspicious after Rice "repeatedly fell asleep" while eating her cereal.
Shortly after driving Rice to a home less than a mile away, the couple found a police officer around 11:30 a.m. and told him about the situation. When the police arrived at the home where the couple dropped Rice off, they saw Willey trying to drive off with the escaped suspect in the vehicle, according to WFTV.
Willey and Rice were both apprehended shortly thereafter and taken into custody. Rice was charged with burglary and petty theft in addition to retail theft, resisting an officer with violence, battery on a law enforcement officer, escape, and giving a false name. She was also arrested for violating her probation and a separate grand theft charge in Osceola County.
Willey was charged with being an accomplice to robbery after the fact and sheltering an escaped prisoner. Authorities also found two syringes with traces of methamphetamine on Rice and another one in Willey’s car.
Rice has a long history of theft. Two years ago, she and her mother were suspected of stealing $15,000 worth of perfume from numerous stores, the Orlando Sentinel reported.