Authorities were concentrating their search for an inmate who escaped from the Tucker Unit on Monday to the area between England and Tucker.
Curtis Dwain Reese Jr., 33, escaped at about 1:30 p.m. Monday. He is a white male, about 176 pounds with green eyes. He is serving a 40-year sentence for first-degree murder out of Saline County, according to Arkansas Department of Corrections spokeswoman Shea Wilson.
Reese and another inmate, James B. Ryan, escaped at the same time, but Ryan is back in custody.
The ADC, Arkansas State Police and other local law enforcement agencies are searching for Reese. The pair left the prison in a water tank atop an 18-wheel tractor-trailer and jumped off in the Ferda area.
At 10 p.m., Wilson said that searchers had gotten a couple of leads, but nothing that panned out.
“We have our K-9 units — the tracking dogs — officers on horseback, the State Police helicopter is circling overhead — so we’re in full search mode,” Wilson said. “We’re going to be looking for awhile tonight.”
Wilson did not have exact figures, but estimated that at least 100 law enforcement officers from various agencies were assisting with the search.
Reese’s profile on the ADC web site indicates he has several tattoos, including swastikas, tribal art, skulls, swords and crosses. He has a scar on his front left arm.
Reese was arrested in July 1997, according to an Associated Press article from the time, in connection with the shooting deaths of two people in an isolated area of Saline County. Eric Ogden, 21, and Lance Kelloms, 17, were shot in the head after apparently agreeing to meet some other people near a new manufactured home that was still vacant. The victims’ wallets were missing.
Reese, then 18, and another young man, Jason Meredith, were arrested shortly thereafter and each charged with two counts of capital murder, according to the AP article.
Reese was convicted in November 1998 and entered into the ADC system in December 1998, according to ADC records. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison and would have been eligible to apply for parole in 2025.
Ryan was convicted as a habitual offender on charges of first-degree murder and being a felon in possession of a firearm from Pulaski County in 2006. He would have been eligible to apply for parole in 2026.