Prison officials plan to scale back search for Buffington as holiday approaches

Department of Corrections officials will scale back their search for escaped prison inmate Timothy Buffington later this week, according to prison spokeswoman Shea Wilson.

Tuesday afternoon, Wilson said officials will continue to concentrate in the Priceton Pike area through Wednesday, but will scale the search back somewhat because of the holiday fireworks and celebratory activities. She said the command center will continue operations and department officials will be responding to any leads and tips that come in.

Also Tuesday afternoon, corrections officials responded to the Altheimer area in response to the sighting of a person who fit Buffington’s description, but Wilson said contact was made with the man and it was not Buffington.

On another subject, Wilson said the Arkansas State Police helicopter has been assisting in the search at night and on Monday night, checked a report of a suspicious activity or a suspicious person in the U.S. Highway 270 area, but that did not turn out to be anything.

Corrections officials were also also alerted to an unrelated domestic disturbance on Bruce Trail on Monday night.

Buffington, 47, who was serving a 20-year sentence for first-degree murder, walked away from a prison housing unit June 21 after breaking into a secure storage room at the house and taking a loaded shotgun and camouflage clothing. He was a trusty at the time of the escape and should be considered armed and dangerous.

He has been charged with kidnapping, first-degree escape, theft of property and aggravated assault and when captured, will be held without bond.

Anyone with information about Buffington should call 911.