Law enforcement agencies enter 4th day in search for escaped Tenn. inmate

Search continues for escaped inmate

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Hundreds of agents, deputies and officers remain on the hunt for an escaped West Tennessee prisoner.

Saturday marks the fourth night of searching for suspected killer Curtis Ray Watson, with still no confirmed sightings.

“There’s been a heavy presence obviously but not like this. There’s something going on," said Weaver.

With helicopters circling very low overhead, heavily armed FBI officers and other law enforcement searched for Curtis Ray Watson.

The convicted kidnapper was serving 15 years and is now believed to have killed 64-year-Old Debra Johnson, a Department of Corrections employee, during his Wednesday morning escape from West Tennessee State Penitentiary.

“It’s scary. It’s scary because you wonder what’s going to take place," said Donna Simpson, neighbor.

Donna Simpson could see all the action from her front porch.

“I can sit right here and watch it all and I’m like, ‘oh man, I hope they catch him before any other loss of life,’" said Simpson.

At one point, it appeared law enforcement was closing in in Watson. Dozens of FBI agents went into the woods heavily armed.

Neighbors said law enforcement told them that Watson was cornered nearby. However, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation did not announce an arrest and the search soon picked back up in the evening.

“It’s unnerving when there’s a prison escape so close by," said Weaver.

One elderly woman told us that she believes Watson broke her screen door trying to get into her home and stole several tomatoes from her garden.

Now residents prepare for a fourth night of not knowing where the accused killer is.

“Uncomfortable. You want to make sure everything is locked down and make sure all the kids are in," said Simpson.

The search for Watson will continue overnight with a helicopter still circling overhead here in Lauderdale County.

Law enforcement officials are asking any residents in the area to keep an eye out for anything unusual and report it and please be aware that if you encounter Watson he is considered extremely dangerous.

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