Escaped convict holds Oak Cliff woman hostage, is captured in Irving

Neighbor Michele Cox just learned that the escaped convict who held her hostage for two hours Tuesday has been captured in Irving. The prisoner, 21-year-old Joshua Barnes, entered Cox’s home through the back door, which was unlocked, at about 10:15 a.m. He had escaped from a prison hospital in Galveston the day before.

"I just kept screaming, ‘Get out of my house!’" Cox says. "And he kept saying, ‘If you don’t shut up, I’m going to kill you.’ I thought I was going to die."

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Barnes, who has escaped from prison twice before, tied her up with a dog leash and locked her in a bathroom. He left two hours later with Cox’s purse, some clothes and a new Chrysler PT Cruiser that Cox rented because her car is in the shop. She cut herself out of the leash using scissors she found in a drawer, and called police.

More after the jump.

Today, Cox has called credit card companies, ordered a new driver’s license, changed her checking account numbers. Tomorrow, she’ll apply for a new Social Security card. "He stole all my stuff," Cox says. "It makes you feel so vulnerable to have that stuff out there."

Cox says she kept a "positive head" throughout the ordeal, tying to keep the idea in her mind that Barnes wasn’t going to kill her.  And now that it’s over, she is shaken. "It’s a life-changing experience," she says. "I’ll never leave my door unlocked again."

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  • What I didn’t say in the story is that she had been going back and forth from her detached garage doing something, and that’s why her back door was unlocked. Could happen to anyone.

  • How scary. The key there is never leave the door unlocked. My doors are locked all the time. If someone wants me to come to the door, they can call and let me know they’re coming; otherwise, I’m not answering my front door. Too many fools out there.

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