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Manhunt for escaped Tennessee inmate continues into 4th day

August 10, 2019
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This undated photo provided by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation shows Curtis Ray Watson. Authorities in Tennessee are searching for Watson, an escaped inmate who is a person of interest in the recent homicide of a Department of Correction employee, after he escaped Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2019, from the West Tennessee State Penitentiary, about 60 miles (97 kilometers) outside of Memphis. (Tennessee Bureau of Investigation via AP)
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This undated photo provided by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation shows Curtis Ray Watson. Authorities in Tennessee are searching for Watson, an escaped inmate who is a person of interest in the recent homicide of a Department of Correction employee, after he escaped Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2019, from the West Tennessee State Penitentiary, about 60 miles (97 kilometers) outside of Memphis. (Tennessee Bureau of Investigation via AP)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The search continues for a Tennessee convict charged with sexually assaulting and strangling a corrections administrator, then escaping on a tractor.

The manhunt Saturday for 44-year-old Curtis Ray Watson is in its fourth day, with no credible sightings despite 369 tips. Rewards totaling $57,000 are available for information leading to Watson’s arrest.

An affidavit says Watson was discovered missing about 11 a.m. Wednesday, several hours after being seen near the house at West Tennessee State Penitentiary where 64-year-old employee Debra Johnson lived. Authorities say Johnson was found deceased in the house with a cord around her neck.

Watson had been tasked with mowing duties at 7 a.m. that day, with access to a golf cart and tractor.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation tweeted Saturday that it believes Watson remains in the surrounding area.

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