An official in Tennessee said an inmate, who is a person of interest in the homicide of a Department of Correction employee, escaped the area on a tractor.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) said Curtis Ray Watson, 44, escaped Wednesday , Aug. 7, from the West Tennessee State Penitentiary in Lauderdale County. The facility is about 60 miles outside of Memphis.

Watson worked as a farm laborer at the prison. He was last seen on a farm tractor which was found about a mile away from the Penitentiary. Authorities said they don’t know in what direction he is traveling. 

Authorities said 64-year-old correctional administrator Debra Johnson was killed in her residence at about 11:30 a.m. Wednesday. They didn’t give further details, but said she lived in a property on site.

TBI said Watson should be considered extremely dangerous.

Watson was serving a 15-year sentence for an aggravated kidnapping conviction out of Henry County, Tennessee. At the time, Watson knocked a woman over the head with an object and raped her multiple times. He was previously incarcerated for aggravated child abuse.

Curtis Watson is a white male, 5 feet, 11 inches tall, weighing 180 pounds, according to a bulletin sent to area law enforcement. He was wearing a prison blue uniform.

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