WASHINGTON — Officials are focusing their search for a prisoner who escaped the custody of guards in Howard County last week after a possible sighting in Jessup, Maryland, Wednesday morning.
Around 9:30 a.m., a man was spotted near the railroad tracks behind a building in the 8200 block of Dorsey Run Road in Jessup. A caller reported the man was wearing a white hard hat and a safety vest, and ran when he was spotted.
When officers responded to the area, they learned that a hard hat and safety vest had been stolen from a nearby storage building.
”We have reason to believe that the person who was spotted by the 911 caller this morning very well may be David Watson. We’ve not been able to find anyone else matching that description who’s been identified as the person that the caller made that call about.”
On Friday, Watson was being transported to Clifton T. Perkins hospital in Jessup, Maryland, from the Wicomico County Detention Center when he pushed a guard and ran into the woods. He hasn’t been spotted since, despite search crews scouring the region for days.
Watson, 28, was serving a sentence of more than 100 years in a correctional facility in Delaware for attempted murder.
On Wednesday, officials searched the area and found packing materials inside of a concrete drainage tunnel, indicating Watson may have recently been in the tunnel. Search teams also located shoe prints in the area, said Howard County Police Department spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn.
“We have followed up on every tip — every tip — that has come in over the weekend and over the last few days. We established a perimeter immediately upon learning there was a sighting in the area and we are confident we are in the place where he was last spotted.”
A full ground search has resumed in the area, including helicopters, bloodhounds, K-9 units, tactical teams, and law enforcement from several agencies. Train service in the area is running, but at speeds that would not allow anyone to board.
The search will cover industrial areas around the hospital, to include buildings, trucks, trailers, and other vehicles. Officers will also be searching woods and tunnels throughout the area.
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