When does the search for Buffington move on? - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

When does the search for Buffington move on?

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PINE BLUFF (KATV) – Search crews took to the skies over Princeton Pike for the first time Tuesday night in the search for escaped murderer, Timothy Buffington.  It’s the latest effort by the Arkansas Department of Corrections as they continue to concentrate their search around Pine Bluff.

A helicopter search was called off on Monday due to heavy storms around the ADC Pine Bluff Unit.  Tuesday showed no true promise for any new leads, and with no sight of Buffington in the last three days, many are asking why the focus of the search remains centered around where the escape occurred.

“There’s no sign he has left the area,” said Shea Wilson, ADC spokesperson.  “We have to continue to focus on this as if he is still here.”

Tuesday, surveillance video surfaced of Buffington caught on camera knocking on a Pine Bluff resident’s door.  The resident who recorded the video lives just a few miles from the prison.  In the video, Buffington is seen to have ditched his prison garb for camouflage and is clearly seen toting a shotgun, leading people wonder if he’s already upped and left.

“We acknowledge that he could be elsewhere, he could have left the area, that’s very possible,” said Wilson.  “But we don’t have any information, any hard leads that he has left this area.  Everything that we are seeing indicates that he is still here.”

It’s why crews continued to stop drivers and show them pictures of Buffington on Tuesday, peering through windows and searching the trunks of vehicles to make sure nobody was harboring the runaway fugitive.  But how much longer will crews continue to do that?

“When we believe we have focused here and covered the areas thoroughly and can clear and area, we’ll move onto the next area,” said Wilson.

ADC officials won’t give an exact timeline as to when they believe they will have cleared the current search area, but say until they have determined the job is done or they’ve received hard evidence that Buffington has moved on – they’ll stay put.

Even if and when officers believe they’ve completely combed the area around the Pine Bluff Unit, Wilson said the search across the state will continue until Buffington is back in custody.