MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The search continues for an Arkansas inmate who escaped from prison last month.
Samuel Hartman was serving a life sentence after a jury found him guilty in the rape of a young girl. He escaped while on a work detail, and detectives said he had help escaping.
By air, on foot and with canines, dozens of law enforcement officers from three states have searched for the 38-year-old.
“Be on high alert, keep your vehicles, your homes, keep everything locked at all times,” Clara Hoover from the Tunica County Sheriff’s Office said.
The Arkansas Department of Corrections said Hartman, a convicted felon, was serving life in prison at the East Arkansas regional unit at Brickeys for the rape of a nine year child.
A prison spokesperson said Hartman escaped from a work detail in August, investigators said Hartman had help escaping.
Police said Hartman jumped into a vehicle with his mother, Linda Annette White and wife Misty Hartman and sped off, but not before firing shots at correctional officers.
Investigators quickly launched an all out manhunt looking for Hartman, even searching a small neighborhood in St. Francis County.
Deputies found a Tahoe believed to be used in the getaway but Hartman and his two accomplices were nowhere to be found. Tunica County Sheriff deputies were put on alert that Hartman, his mother and wife were headed their way crossing the Mississippi River on jet skis.
“If you were traveling directly across from where we are in Tunica County to where the vehicle was abandoned in Arkansas, the jet skis would have traveled 2.5 miles south of here,” Hoover said.
Investigators in Mississippi said a farmer found the jet skis, a cell phone and a set keys at a boat ramp in Tunica County.
Less than 24 hours later, sheriff’s deputies and U.S. Marshals obtained a search warrant and were at the front door of this camper on Carp Drive, believed to be occupied by Hartman’s mother.
However, by the time deputies arrived, they were already gone. They left behind only wigs and a military uniform.
The Arkansas Department Corrections said Hartman was last seen in a white 2021 Chevy Trail Boss, with Arkansas license plates 398ZVY. They warn if you see Hartman do not approach, he is believed to be armed and dangerous.
If you know where Samuel Hartman, Misty Hartman or Linda Anette White are hiding, you are urged to call police or the East Arkansas Regional Prison at 870-295-4700.