State police helicopter joins search for Buffington Wednesday

The Arkansas State Police helicopter in the air joined corrections officials on the ground on ATV’s and horses Wednesday as the hunt for prison escapee Timothy Buffington continued in the Princeton Pike area.

Prison spokeswoman Shea Wilson said the helicopter was used Wednesday morning to supplement teams on the ground who continued to walk through heavily wooded areas near the Pine Bluff Complex, along with search dogs.

In addition, corrections officials maintained checkpoints on Princeton Pike, a practice Wilson said will continue Thursday before scaling back for the Fourth of July holiday.

Buffington, 47, who was serving a 20-year sentence for first-degree murder, walked away from an employee housing unit on prison grounds June 21 after breaking into a secure storage room at the house and taking a loaded shotgun. He also took camouflage clothing and a hat and was recorded on video wearing those items when he tried to break into a house on Princeton Pike later that night.

There have been no confirmed sighting since then and prison officials have said they have received no information that would lead them to believe Buffington has left the area.

He is a white male, 5 feet 6 inches tall, weighing 182 pounds and should be considered armed and dangerous.

Anyone with information should call 911.