PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. — Back in custody after using forged documents to escape their life sentences, two convicted killers were being questioned on Sunday by law enforcement authorities who said they expected to make more arrests in a case that has embarrassed both court and corrections officials in Florida.

Among the questions being posed to the inmates, Joseph Jenkins and Charles Walker: Who forged the papers? Who helped you run from the police? What other prisoners have gotten away with a similar scheme?

“I can tell you, there will be more arrests,” Gerald Bailey, commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, said at a news conference on Sunday, hours after Mr. Jenkins and Mr. Walker were arrested peacefully at a motel in Panama City.

“We will be backtracking to those who helped carry out this fraud, and along the way we will be looking closely at anyone who may have helped harbor these fugitives,” Mr. Bailey said.

Mr. Jenkins and Mr. Walker, both 34, were captured Saturday night at the Coconut Grove Motor Inn in Panama City Beach, a touristy area of mini-golf courses and go-cart tracks. Hours earlier, their families had held a news conference in Orlando urging them to surrender.

The men were waiting in the motel for someone to arrive from Atlanta to take them out of state, Mr. Bailey said, adding that the authorities do not yet know who that person was or where the convicts planned to go. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement was working with Georgia authorities to try to answer those questions, he said.

“They had to have had help — a lot of help — to get to where they were last night,” Mr. Bailey said. He said the men were unarmed and had little money when arrested.

Mr. Jenkins and Mr. Walker were serving life sentences at the Franklin Correctional Facility in the Florida Panhandle before they walked free without anyone realizing the paperwork, complete with case numbers and a judge’s forged signature, was bogus. The documents seemingly reduced their life sentences to 15 years.

Mr. Jenkins was released on Sept. 27 and registered as a felon on Sept. 30. Mr. Walker was released on Oct. 8 and registered with the authorities three days later. The inmates’ release came to light only after one of the murder victims’ families received notification of the release and contacted prosecutors.

Mr. Bailey’s department was pursuing a tip that someone was offering to forge documents for prisoners for $8,000. He said prisoners have been thwarted trying to use fake documents to escape in at least two other recent cases.

“The documents themselves looked good; they looked official,” Mr. Bailey said. The papers contained the signatures of people who normally do not deal with release documents, which probably should have raised questions, he said.

The corrections secretary, Michael Crews, scheduled a meeting with court clerks on Monday to find ways to prevent such escapes.

“It is embarrassing, but my concentration at this point is making sure that we come up with a process and a procedure that prohibits this from happening in the future,” Mr. Crews said at a news conference.

Mr. Crews had already ordered his department to begin verifying early-release orders with a judge, not just court clerks. He said his department receives a few thousand such orders each year, but acknowledged that reduced sentences in murder cases are rare.

He also expressed relief that Mr. Jenkins and Mr. Walker had been captured.

“I did a lot of praying for the last five or six days,” Mr. Crews said. “To say we’re thankful I think is probably an understatement. These were two hardened convicted felons, and the thought of them being out there in our state caused me great concern.”

A version of this article appears in print on October 21, 2013, on page A12 of the New York edition with the headline: Inmates Caught, Hunt Shifts To Who Faked Release Order.

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