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Man on run for 17 years found living in remote cave in mountains

Song Jiang had been hiding alone in wild since breaking out of prison in 2002 – but was finally discovered by police drone

Colin Drury
Monday 30 September 2019 19:10 BST
Man on run for 17 years found living in remote cave in mountains

A fugitive who has been on the run from police in China for more than 17 years has been found living in a remote mountain cave.

Song Jiang escaped from a prison camp in 2002 while serving time for trafficking women and children.

The 63-year-old is said to have cut himself off from society and made his home in the mountainous wilds of Yunnan, his home province.

He survived by collecting river water in a plastic bottle and using tree branches to make fires, state media reports.

Pictures showed a rough camp bed made on rock at the back of the cave. Old smoke-blackened pots appear to have been used to cook meals on open fires.

The runaway had been living without human interaction for so long that, when found, he struggled to communicate with officers.

But his discovery finally came after authorities received a tip-off about his possible location earlier this month, Yongshan Police revealed on their WeChat account.

The tip-off led them to the mountains but, after regular searches failed to find any evidence of Song’s whereabouts, police sent up drones in a bid to trace him from the air.

The drones eventually spotted a steel tile and traces of household rubbish in a remote location.

Police then moved in on foot and found Song in the cave where he had been hiding for years.

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He has now been sent back to jail.

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