Calvin Adams, who is serving a sentence of life without parole, is either hiding on the grounds of an Arkansas prison or has escaped, officials say. A decade after he donned a guard’s uniform and escaped from an Arkansas prison, a convicted murderer serving life without parole has managed to disappear yet again from another…
A decade after he donned a guard’s uniform and escaped from an Arkansas prison, a convicted murderer serving life without parole has managed to disappear yet again from another state prison.
Officials at the East Arkansas Regional Unit, a 1,650-inmate prison about 110 miles east of Little Rock, realized at 4 a.m. Monday that the inmate, Calvin Adams, 49, was missing, said Dina Tyler, a spokeswoman for the Arkansas Department of Correction. He was last seen on security footage at 12:15 a.m., she added, but officials are unsure whether he was hiding on the grounds or had actually escaped.
Mr. Adams, who, according to The Associated Press, was convicted of capital murder in 1995 after he kidnapped and shot a 25-year-old man and wounded the man’s wife, was being held at a medium-security portion of the facility, which is surrounded by a lethal electric fence with only two points of entry, Ms. Tyler said. A review of security footage did not show him leaving the premises.
“We’re having to look for him from two fronts,” Ms. Tyler said. “There’s the possibility that somehow he got out of the fence. But since we don’t have definitive proof that he’s outside the fence, we also have to assume that he could still be inside.”
Hundreds of law enforcement officers from the state police, United States Marshals Service and local agencies spent Monday searching for Mr. Adams — to no avail. They used dogs, horses, cars, helicopters and drones outside, Ms. Tyler said, and also combed the grounds, including pipes and vents. She said the search would continue overnight.
At one point on Monday morning, she said, a canine unit “led us to a post office about a mile and a half away as the crow flies, but we don’t think that was him because we found it was a common contraband route.”
While at the East Arkansas Regional Unit, Mr. Adams has had several disciplinary violations, including possession of contraband, lying to a staff member and not being where he was supposed to be, Ms. Tyler said.
If he did breach the fence on Monday, there are millions of places for him to hide, Ms. Tyler said. The prison, located in a rural area, is nearly 80 miles from the Cummins Unit, the prison from which Mr. Adams escaped a decade ago.
In May 2009, Mr. Adams and Jeffrey Grinder, both serving life without parole for capital murder, managed to obtain and put on guard uniforms — which, at the time, were made at the prison — before walking out unchallenged.
“They left at shift change,” Ms. Tyler said. “The officers in charge should have recognized them and challenged them, but they didn’t.”
The two escapees drove away in a car that was left for them in the prison’s parking lot and ended up 90 miles south of Buffalo four days later, Ms. Tyler said. When a state trooper in New York tried to pull them over, they crashed the car and tried to run away before being caught, she added.
Mr. Adams pleaded guilty to second-degree escape in 2009 and was sentenced to an additional six years, records show. Six prison employees were fired for not following policy during the escape, and correctional uniforms are no longer made in the compound, Ms. Tyler said.
Mr. Adams’s disappearance came one day after four Ohio inmates overpowered guards and escaped; they were caught in North Carolina hours later.
It was not clear whether Mr. Adams was working alone at this time, Ms. Tyler said, “but we’ll get him.”
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