HORRY COUNTY, SC (WIS) - For the past several days, Jack Swerling has had some company with him on his beach vacation: Horry County deputies who have been making sure he's safe.
Richland County deputies did the same thing for his Columbia staff. The past few days have been anxious ones for Swerling and his family as law enforcement agencies across the state searched for the man who held the Swerling family hostage over a decade ago.
It's a beach vacation Swerling won't soon forget.
"Of course, it was disbelief at first. It was shock," Swerling said. "I just didn't even know what to say."
On Tuesday, he got a call he wasn't expecting. He found out Jimmy Causey had escaped a Lowcountry prison.
"You don't know where he's going. You don't know what direction he's going in. You don't know if he's going to exact revenge or not," Swerling said.
"That's my image of what it – laying on the floor, him with the gun, he came up to my head with the gun a couple times as I recall," Swerling said. "It was the fear of, number one, obviously getting killed, but my wife and my daughter, I just could not handle that."
Causey was serving a life sentence for that crime when he escaped from a Columbia prison back in 2005. He was captured near the Georgia border just three days later.
"When he first did it, we were terrorized," Swerling said.
"Just the fear that he's out again," Swerling said. "We had recovered, pretty much, from the one in 2005."
It's those feelings and intense anxiety Swerling hopes he and his family won't experience again.