PINE BLUFF, Ark., – Armed with a shotgun and extra ammunition, escaped killer Timothy Buffington is now 13 days on the lam. And no one seems to know where he is.
Shea Wilson, public information officer with the Department of Corrections, Pine Bluff Unit, said multiple agencies have been brought in to assist with the search.
“We have received assistance from the Arkansas State Police, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, National Guard, the U.S. Marshal’s Service, the F.B.I and city and county law enforcement across the state,” she said. “We continue to follow up on leads from the public, and to search.”
A convicted killer, 15 years into serving a 20-year sentence, Buffington ran away from a work detail the evening of June 21 from the ADC, just 150 miles outside of Texarkana. No one has any idea where he might be now.
Originally, the search for Buffington was located near the Princeton Pike area near the prison but that search has obviously expanded since Buffington has been at large this long.
“We continue to receive tips from the local area, as well as other areas, and we follow up on those leads. We have maintained posts in the Booneville/Logan County area since his escape, so we have concentrated in more than one location,” Wilson said.
Asked if she believed Buffington may have, or now has, outside help, Wilson said she “has no information to indicate that he had assistance.”
Because of his good behavior behind bars, which solely determines a trusty status, Buffington had been a trusty since 2003 and therefore was able to work under minimal supervision.
“Trusty status is based upon behavior. And up until Saturday evening (June 21), he’s had no behavioral problems,” Wilson said in an earlier interview. “He would have finished his prison sentence in July 2018 so we don’t have any idea what prompted this. We have people here who commit less serious crimes who don’t attain trusty status because of their (poor) behavior in prison,” she explained.
Buffington was doing janitorial and maintenance work on one of the homes that, for safety reasons, reside on prison grounds when he managed to overtake a female at the residence. Buffington then kicked in the door frame of a “safe room” that reportedly contained a shotgun and extra ammunition. He reportedly tried to get the woman to drive him away from the prison, but she managed to get away. Buffington then grabbed the shotgun and the extra ammunition from the room and fled.
Asked if Buffington’s escape was merely a crime of opportunity or if she believed it was a planned event, Wilson said the prison system had no information why he decided to escape.
Buffington, who was 31 in 1998 when he committed his crime, shot his ex-wife, Rhonda Combs, 23, in the back of the head with a rifle while she sat in her boyfriend’s pickup outside of the Booneville city limits. Buffington shot his ex-wife after being involved in a custody battle over the couple’s two children. Buffington was convicted of First Degree Murder in 1999 and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Buffington, who may also go by “Bo Buffington” is a 47-year-old white male, about 5 feet 6 inches tall, 182 pounds with a bald head. He has scars on his abdomen and his upper left arm.
Asked if his children ever visited him in prison, Wilson said that “inmate visitation lists are not subject to release.”
Asked if he had any regular visitors this year in general, either male or female, and Wilson did say that Buffington “did not have regular visitors this year.”
Wilson said she does not know where Buffington is hiding – whether still in Arkansas or in another state.
“We don’t know where he is. There is no information that leads from this area or the state, but anything is possible. We can’t rule out anything.”