Authorities said the older boy's escape and the information provided by his brother were instrumental in their survival and the case against the suspect.
"Those boys did an amazing job," Tucker said.
Bass said Smith tried to get away by running through thick woods but was caught about 8 p.m. a few miles away on a highway. Smith hurt himself somehow in the woods and was treated for injuries, Bass said.
The 8-year-old was airlifted to a hospital in Mobile, Ala., and was in stable condition on Thursday, Adam said.
Smith has a lengthy criminal record. Tara Booth, a spokeswoman with the Mississippi Department of Corrections, said Smith was sentenced to more than four years in 2006 for receiving stolen property. His probation was revoked in January 2011 for failure to report and pay fines, and he was sentenced to more than two years.
He was sentenced in February to 20 years in the racketeering case, with five years to serve and 15 years on supervised release. But the court also ordered that Smith could be released to house arrest after completing a drug and alcohol program, according to court records.
He was released to house arrest June 19, Booth said.
"It's a shame," Tucker said. "If he had been serving his sentence, he wouldn't have been free to commit this crime."