This is how the manhunt for the inmates accused of killing Ga. corrections officers ended

Two different families are thankful to be alive after coming face to face with two escaped inmates accused of murder.

They were on their stomachs, hands cuffed behind their backs, staring up at more than a dozen law enforcement members. 

That's how an intense manhunt that spanned more than two days and stretched across the nation ended.

On a Tennessee highway, more than 270 miles away from where the nightmare began, is where authorities finally caught up with the men they say killed two of their own.

Pictures of Ricky Dubose and Donnie Rowe had been shared hundreds of thousands of times across social media since early Tuesday morning. 

That's when authorities say Dubose and Rowe overpowered and killed two corrections officers on a prison transport bus near Eatonton, Ga. 

The two carjacked a passerby and disappeared down the road.

(Story continues below gallery)

Over the next two days, there were several reported sightings, from a Family Dollar in Madison (that was later confirmed to be true) to a rest stop in South Carolina (that turned out not to be them), but no concrete idea of where they were -- or where they might be headed. 

Until Thursday.

Around noon, Bedford County Sheriff Austin Swing said an abandoned car was found on a highway that appeared to be covered up with branches. 

Around 2:30 p.m. Dubose and Rowe broke into a home in Shelbyville and tied up a man and woman. For several hours, the suspects threatened the couple, while eating their food and stealing their clothes and other valuables.

The men originally planned to have the woman drive them somewhere in her car, but when she got in, the vehicle wouldn't start. 

At that point, the fugitives left in a Jeep Cherokee, Swing said.

Within 15 minutes, the couple was able to break free and call police. (Hear the 911 call)

Authorities caught up with the Cherokee on Interstate 24 near the Bedford County/Rutherford County line, about 10 miles south of Murfreesboro.

A 10-mile pursuit began, during which shots were fired. Vehicles, but no people, were hit. Finally, the Cherokee crashed, the men left the vehicle and a foot chase ensued.

The suspects ran to a house and tried to break inside. At that point an homeowner came out and held the suspects at bay until authorities arrived. (Click here for his story)

And like that, the manhunt that had brought fear and tension to the state of Georgia was over.

A photo of the two suspects after their capture was quickly shared by law enforcement and news agencies across the country. It showed the two men tattooed and tired. But alive, which may have caught them by surprise, as earlier they told their hostages that "they'd be dead in 24 hours." 

Now they'll be transported back to Putnam County, and the families of Christopher Monica and Curtis Billue can rest a little easier knowing that the men suspected behind their deaths are behind bars before their funerals. 

RELATED ►Who gets the $130,000 reward?

TIMELINE | Manhunt for escaped Georgia inmates

AERIAL FOOTAGE | Georgia fugitives caught in Tennessee

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