Rae Carruth was arrested tonight in western Tennessee, a day after the Carolina Panthers' wide receiver failed to turn himself in to face murder charges in the death of his girlfriend.

Carruth was arrested at a hotel in Wildersville, Tenn., about 100 miles northeast of Memphis, the FBI said. He was hiding in the trunk of a car belonging to a female friend who had registered at the motel.

"He was cooperative during the course of the arrest and processing," said Victor O'Korn, FBI assistant special agent in charge in Charlotte.

Carruth was being held in the Madison County, Tenn., jail tonight on a federal charge of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. An extradition hearing before a federal magistrate was planned Thursday morning.

The unidentified woman had not been charged as of tonight, FBI spokeswoman Joanne Morley said.

Carruth was charged with first-degree murder following the death Tuesday of 24-year-old Cherica Adams, who was 6 1/2 months' pregnant when she was shot four times Nov. 16 in her car. The shooting forced doctors to perform an emergency delivery.

If convicted, Carruth could be sentenced to death or life in prison.

Carruth's name had been entered earlier today into the National Crime Information Center computer, which is linked to police across the United States.

Adams was shot in the neck and chest from a passing vehicle as she drove through a Charlotte neighborhood.

Carruth was in a car near the shooting, and the three other men were in a separate vehicle, talking by cell phone, prosecutors said.

The condition of the baby, Chancellor Lee Adams, has improved since the shooting. He was moved out of a neonatal intensive care nursery earlier this month.

Carruth, 25, was the Panthers' first-round draft choice in 1997 out of Colorado. According to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, he is the first active NFL player to face a murder charge.

Carruth and the other men originally were charged with conspiracy, attempted murder and related charges. Carruth was free on $3 million bail on the earlier charges when Adams died.

Michael Eugene Kennedy, 24; Stanley Drew "Boss" Abraham, 19; and William Edward Watkins, 44; were charged with first-degree murder today and were being held without bail. They were to make their first court appearances Thursday on the murder charge.

Carruth's mother, Theodry Carruth, had gone on national television this morning to say her son would turn himself in to authorities when he was ready. She said she had spoken to him by telephone Tuesday.

Investigators did not know if she knew his whereabouts at the time, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police deputy chief Larry Snider said.

"It's quite obvious the information the mother was supplying was incorrect. He didn't turn himself in, and he was found hundreds of miles away from Charlotte," Snider said.

Authorities said they had received tips Carruth could be found at the Tennessee motel, and FBI agents staked it out this afternoon. They checked the room, then searched the car parked in the motel's lot, agents said.