A convicted murderer who escaped from prison in 2009 while wearing a guard uniform is missing and may have escaped again, Arkansas prison officials said Monday.
The Arkansas Department of Corrections said Calvin Adams, 49, was confirmed missing after a search of the 1,650-inmate East Arkansas Regional Unit in the community of Brickeys, located about 110 miles (177 kilometers) east of Little Rock. He’s serving life without parole. Prison spokeswoman Dina Tyler confirmed that that Adams also escaped in 2009.
Tyler said officials were unsure whether Adams was still on the grounds of the correctional facility and didn’t know yet whether he got past the facility’s electric fence.
“We are going from two fronts … one that he’s laid down somewhere on the grounds and one that says he got out and is running,” Tyler wrote in an email.
Surveillance video showed Adams in the facility’s boiler room at 12:15 a.m. Monday, Tyler said. Guards realized he was missing during a unit check around 4 a.m. Adams was housed in a barracks of about 50 inmates in a medium-security portion of the prison.
On May 29, 2009, Adams and Jeffrey Grinder, both serving life without parole for capital murder, walked out of the Cummins Unit, located about 90 miles (140 kilometers) southeast of Little Rock, wearing guard uniforms and drove away in a car that was left for them in the prison’s parking lot. They were arrested in New York state four days later.
Adams was convicted of capital murder in 1995 in the kidnapping and shooting death the year earlier of 25-year-old Richard Austin. Austin’s wife was wounded and walked for more than a mile for help.
Adams has had several disciplinary violations since May 2018, including possession of contraband and lying to a staff member in January. His record also lists an escape violation in January, but Tyler said that was for being where he wasn’t supposed to and not an escape from the facility.
Adams and Grinder were sentenced to an additional six years in prison after pleading guilty to the 2009 escape. Six guards were fired and another was disciplined. Inmates also stopped sewing guard uniforms at the Cummins unit. Prison officials at the time said it appeared the inmates received no help from correction officers.
A lawmaker who co-chairs a corrections oversight panel said prison officials need to be held accountable for the latest incident.
“This is not someone who committed a nonviolent crime. This is a dangerous guy,” said Sen. Gary Stubblefield, a Republican.
Associated Press Writer Jamie Stengle in Dallas contributed to this report.