LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Authorities in Arkansas were searching Tuesday for a man convicted of killing a teenage girl after he disappeared by walking away from a work crew.
The Arkansas Department of Correction said guards at the East Arkansas Unit in Brickeys, about 120 miles east of Little Rock, noticed the 40-year-old Jones was missing from a work crew around noon Monday.
Solomon Graves, a spokesman for the department told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on Tuesday (http://bit.ly/1toO4e2 ) that the search for Jones was focused on the escape location, but other areas were also being searched. The work detail was 2 miles west of the prison.
Graves declined to elaborate but said the department had notified Mississippi authorities that the escape occurred about 10 miles from the Arkansas-Mississippi border. It was unknown Tuesday if that was the direction Jones fled.
Authorities in Sebastian and Crawford counties in northwest Arkansas were also on alert according to Facebook posts from law enforcement agencies.
Jones is serving a 60-year prison term for strangling 16-year-old Angela Allen after picking her up from her Van Buren home.
Her body was later found stuffed inside of a blue barrel buried at the house of one of Jones' family members near Lavaca.
Graves said there will be an internal investigation to determine the factors that led to the escape and whether anyone else was involved, but the department's immediate focus is on capturing Jones. He said guards noticed Jones was missing within an hour of his escape.
The 24-year-old Brickeys unit is a maximum-security prison, but some inmate work programs include the use of prisoners in agriculture fields or on construction or demolition crews outside the prison walls. Graves said Jones' classification allowed him to be a part of the work program, which required armed supervision.