ARKANSAS — A convicted rapist is on the run after escaping a prison in east Arkansas, officials say.
Samuel Hartman, 38, escaped Friday morning from the East Arkansas Regional Unit in Brickeys, according to the Arkansas Department of Corrections (ADOC).
According to the Tunica County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO), Hartman may have crossed the Mississippi River and is believed to be in the Tunica County area.
Sometime overnight, TSCO, the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team and the US Marshals Office executed a search warrant in the 1800 block of Carp Drive, officials said.
According to officials, evidence was found that Hartman and the alleged persons of interest were planning to stay at the trailer but weren’t currently there.
He may be traveling in a white 2021 Chevy Z71 Trail Boss with Arkansas plates 398 ZVY or no plates at all, according to the Tunica County Sheriff’s Office. The sheriff’s office asked everybody to be on the lookout for a vehicle matching that description.
The Tunica County Sheriff’s Office said that three people, including his mother and sister, helped him escape. His mother is Linda White and his sister is Misty Hartman, according to the sheriff’s office.
If you come in contact with Samuel Hartman, do not approach him. Call 911 immediately. Hartman is armed and dangerous.
Officials said he has ties to Tulsa, Oklahoma and the state of Wyoming.
A vehicle was located two miles west of the casino resort area on the Arkansas side of the river, according to Tunica County Sheriff K.C. Hamp.
Arkansas State Police said a farmer reported seeing two abandoned jet skis on a boat ramp.
Tunica County Sheriff’s Office located the two jet skis abandoned on a boat ramp near Mhoon Landing Park.
They believe Hartman used the watercrafts because of where they were located. Officials also believe that Hartman is accompanied by one or more individuals.
The jet skis are being processed by the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation (MBI).
All area schools in Tunica County were put on lockdown as a precaution, and all local businesses are on high alert.
Officials said Hartman fired a weapon at Arkansas correction officers when he escaped.
ADOC officials said Hartman weighs 230 pounds and is 5′9″ tall.
He has tattoos of a rose, heart, sword, “Forever & Always” and “Sam-N-Christine.”
Hartman was serving a life sentence on rape charges, records show.
The US Marshals are following leads as of Saturday morning.
Officials in Tunica County said they are working closely with the Arkansas State Police, Arkansas Department of Corrections, Mississippi Bureau of Investigations, Tunica Police Department, DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office, Mississippi Highway Patrol, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, Mississippi Department of Corrections, and U.S. Marshals on this investigation.
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