Search Continues for Sulphur Springs Escapees

$5,000 reward for information on the escapees' whereabouts

The hunt for a capital murder suspect and a convicted drug offender who escaped from a Hopkins County jail has turned to a missing crossover sport utility vehicle.

The Hopkins County Sheriff's Office says Brian Allen Tucker, of Sulphur Springs, and John Marlin King, of Cumby, are still at large.

The inmates fled Tuesday morning from the Hopkins County Jail in Sulphur Springs, about 75 miles northeast of Dallas, by scaling a fence or slipping through a gap.

Sgt. Brad Cummings said searchers are now seeking a black 2010 Saturn Vue reported stolen in Sulphur Springs on Wednesday afternoon. The vehicle had Texas plates with the number CR6D425 and a nickel-plated .22-caliber Derringer pistol was in the SUV.

Lake Country Crime Stoppers in Hopkins County is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the capture of Tucker and King. Anyone with information is asked to call the Crime Stoppers hotline at 903-885-2020.

Tucker faces trial in the 2011 slaying of Bobby Riley of Mahoney. King pleaded guilty last month to drug possession as a habitual offender and was sentenced to 40 years in prison.

"You have one who's looking at a death-penalty offense and another who's going to serve 40 years," Cummings said. "They escaped because they don't want to go serve their punishments. They don't want to face the judge and jury. They don't want to go to prison. They're a ticking time bomb. You don't know what they're going to do."

Police say Tucker's description varies from the published mugshot. He's said to have a shaved head with a visible tattoo on the back of his head that reads, "Drop Dead." A more recent photo of Tucker, including a close up of the tattoo on his head, was released by the Hopkins County Sheriff's Department Wednesday morning. That photo can be seen here.

Investigators on Wednesday said that King also has a shaved head and looks different than his mugshot.

On Tuesday night, authorities using an infrared camera picked up to a source of heat in a wooded area. A SWAT team moved in but did not find anyone.

Authorities will continue to monitor roads and keep patrols out searching for the escapees.

Nine Sulphur Springs Independent School district campuses, as well as the airport, were locked down during the search for the pair on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Sulphur Springs ISD put campuses on high alert and said they would stay that way while the escapees are still at large.

Sulphur Springs ISD said the district's 4,200 students would be able to resume their regular dismissal routines on Wednesday. Buses were allowed to run on a regular schedule and students were allowed to walk home as long as their parents approved.

NBC 5's Keaton Fox and Eric King contributed to this report.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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