Arkansas Department of Corrections officials visited a residence in Booneville and another outside the city limits during a search for Timothy "Bo" Buffington — convicted of first degree murder in Booneville in 1999 — following his Saturday escape from the ADC in Pine Bluff.
Booneville Police Chief Al Brown said he has received no specific indication that Buffington could be en route to his hometown but because he is from Booneville there was cause for concern.
Brown said the residences visited were of family members of Buffington.
Brown also said he understands that Buffington was armed with a shotgun and that he reportedly took a hostage after his escape, but that person, a female, was able to escape unharmed.
In 1998, Buffington, then 31, shot his ex-wife, 23-year-old Rhonda (Canada) Combs, in the back of the head with a rifle while she sat in her boyfriend’s pickup on Carolan Bridge, just southwest of the Booneville city limits.
The shooting was related to a custody battle over the two children of Buffington and Combs, according to a Times Record report published on July 29, 1998.
Buffington was convicted in Logan County of first-degree murder and sentenced to 20 years in prison, according to inmate information listed on the ADC website.
On Saturday evening, Buffington, now 47, left his work assignment and escaped the Pine Bluff unit of the ADC.
He was booked into the ADC on March 12, 1999, according to a news release from ADC spokeswoman Shea Wilson.
Buffington is listed as five feet, six inches tall and weighing 182 pounds. He has a scar on his abdomen and back upper left arm and a tattoo on his right wrist, according to the ADC.
ADC officers and canines are searching for Buffington in the area of Princeton Pike in Pine Bluff. Local and state law-enforcement agencies have been notified, the release states.
Buffington’s last known address is 192 First Street in Booneville, according to the ADC escape alert.
A dispatcher with Logan County said law enforcement in the area have been made aware of Buffington’s escape and have been receiving updated information from state law-enforcement officials.
"Any person sought under these circumstances should be considered armed and dangerous," Wilson stated in an email.