LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Tenn. — A reward for accused murderer and escaped inmate Curtis Ray Watson increased, and law enforcement told people in the search area Saturday night that Watson had been spotted.
However, by just after midnight on Sunday, Watson had not been captured. Multiple agencies were still at work near the search area, which is not far from the West Tennessee State Penitentiary.
The Tennessee Department of Corrections added $4,500 to the reward, bringing the total offered for Watson to $57,000 on the fourth day of searching for the inmate, who is now wanted in the assault and murder of a prison administrator.
Shortly after that reward was increased, WREG's Peter Fleischer reported that law enforcement began telling residents Watson was spotted in a wooded area off Highway 371.
Authorities were searching the area.
WREG saw agents and K-9 squads running into the wooded area.
Residents are hoping this will bring an end to a stressful and terrifying situation. Watson broke into a nearby home overnight Friday and stole food and water.
Residents tell WREG that Watson broke into a home in unincorporated Cherry early this morning, stealing food and water.
The scariest part? A family slept peacefully while this alleged murdered and escapee moved through their house.
— Peter Fleischer (@Peter_Fleischer) August 10, 2019
WREG is at the scene of the search and will update this story as we learn more.
UPDATE: A large part of law enforcement has packed up from their location on Hwy 371, but the road remains closed to the public.
We’re told law enforcement is optimistic about using thermal tracking to find Watson at night, but as of now: “He’s not in custody yet.”
— Peter Fleischer (@Peter_Fleischer) August 11, 2019