Search for escaped inmate continuing

The search for an inmate who escaped from the Maximum Security Unit at Tucker Prison Monday entered its second day Tuesday afternoon and Department of Corrections spokeswoman Shea Wilson said authorities are continuing to concentrate on the area between Tucker and England.

Curtis Dewain Reese Jr., 33, escaped with another inmate at about 1:30 p.m. in a water tank atop an 18-wheeler tractor trailer and jumped off in the Ferda area.

The other inmate, James B. Ryan, was taken back into custody a short time later after reportedly injuring himself while jumping off the truck.

Wilson said corrections officials are following “any and all leads” and while conceding that it is possible Reese was picked up and given a ride out of the area, they will continue their search in the area where he was last seen until they receive leads that would direct them elsewhere.

Reese was serving a 40-year sentence from Saline County for first-degree murder and according to the DOC website, would have been eligible to apply for parole in 2025.

Wilson said authorities are also checking with Reese’s family and friends from the Saline County area as well as persons who might have visited with him while he was held at the Tucker Unit.

“There’s certainly a possibility that he had help at some point and that’s something we are also taking a look at,” she said.

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 is a white male, about 176 pounds, with green eyes, and according to the DOC website, has several tattoos including swastikas, tribal art, skulls, swords and crosses. He also has a scar on his front left arm.