Convicted murderer escapes from Tucker, search continues

TUCKER, Ark. (AP) - Authorities continue to search for a convicted killer who escaped from a maximum-security prison in Arkansas.

The search continues Tuesday for 33-year-old Curtis Reese Jr., who is serving a 40-year sentence at the Tucker Unit. Correction department spokeswoman Shea Wilson says Reese and another inmate escaped the prison on Monday by hiding in an empty water tank atop an 18-wheel tractor-trailer.

The other inmate, 40-year-old James B. Ryan, was back in custody Monday afternoon.

Reese was convicted of 2 counts of first-degree murder in Saline County in the 1997 deaths of Eric Ogden and Lance Kelloms.

Reese is white, has green eyes, is about 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs about 176 pounds. He also has tattoos of swastikas and skulls.

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Channel Seven's Matt Johnson is in Jefferson County and will have the latest information in all newscast.

(KATV) An inmate from the Tucker Unit escaped at about 1:30 today. Curtis Reese, 33, was sentenced in 1998 for first degree murder. As a teenager, Reese was found guilty in the July 1997 shooting deaths of Eric "Oggy" Ogden and Lance Kelloms. It happened on Goodwin Road north of Benton.

According to the Arkansas Department of Correction (ADC), Reese is from Saline County. He is serving a 40 year sentence.

He and another inmate, James B. Ryan, escaped at the same time, but Ryan is back in custody. The pair left the prison in a water tank atop an 18-wheel tractor trailer and jumped off in the Ferda area. A spokesperson with the ADC says it is possible that Reese is injured.

ADC and other law enforcement crews are searching and will expand their search as needed. The State Police are assisting with their helicopter and tracking dogs are being used. The search is being concentrated in the area between England and Tucker.

A massive search through air and Jefferson County fields has yet to turn up an escaped convicted murderer. More than 100 officers have been on the hunt.

Monday night, the dark and open fields are at law enforcement's disadvantage.

An abandoned camper and an abandoned truck with supplies have turned up. It is possible the escaped inmate had outside help.

Nearby communities are on alert, locking their doors and keeping their weapons close as authorities continue the search for a killer who could be anywhere.

Reese is 5'10" and weighs about 175 pounds. He has tattoos of a swastika with an eagle on top, a tattoo of a sword and he has a skull on his right arm.

Call police immediately if you see Curtis Reese.