Escaped Tennessee prisoners planned to steal boat in South Florida, flee country, investigators say

Robert Brown, Christopher Osteen captured in Pompano Beach after more than 10-hour manhunt
Robert Brown and Christopher Osteen, Broward County arrest photos
Posted at 4:23 PM, Dec 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-15 16:23:09-05

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. — Two men who escaped from a Tennessee prison, kidnapped a Kentucky highway employee and stole a truck that they used to drive to South Florida planned to steal a boat and flee the country, according to the Broward Sheriff's Office.

Robert Brown and Christopher Osteen were apprehended Sunday in Pompano Beach, two days after they escaped from the Northwest Correctional Complex in Tiptonville, Tennessee.

BSO spokesman Carey Codd said the violent felons kidnapped, blindfolded and carjacked a Kentucky highway employee and then kidnapped a second victim, stealing his Chevrolet Silverado and leaving him tied up inside his home for 16 hours.

Deputies in Pompano Beach located the stolen pickup truck Sunday morning and, after several hours of searching, found the escapees in a parking lot outside the Sea Gardens Beach and Tennis Resort.

Both men ran off, but deputies caught up to Brown after a brief foot chase, Codd said.

Osteen got away but was found about five hours later hiding under a trailer, Codd said.

Detectives said Brown and Osteen confessed to multiple residential burglaries, attempting to steal guns in anticipation of a possible shootout with authorities.

Investigators said Brown and Osteen intended to steal a boat and leave the country.

Robert Brown and Christopher Osteen, escaped Tennessee prison inmates
Robert Brown and Christopher Osteen were captured in Pompano Beach after escaping from a Tennessee prison.

"The men and women of BSO responded to an imminent threat in our community and did so flawlessly, removing two highly dangerous fugitives from our streets and back into the hands of justice," Sheriff Gregory Tony said. "Our efforts to safeguard Broward County residents is a never-ending mission."

Both men were booked into the main Broward County jail. Brown was serving an 18-year prison sentence for aggravated rape and Osteen was serving an eight-year sentence for burglary.

Deputies said the search for the escaped prisoners lasted more than 10 hours.