CLEBURNE COUNTY (KTHV) - THV 11 News continues to cover the developing news Thursday out of Cleburne County. That's where authorities found Curtis Reese Jr. Thursday morning. He's the inmate who escaped from Tucker Prison Monday.
State prison officials transferred Reese to the Varner SuperMax near Grady, which is that's the state's highest security prison. And having him there now is a big relief for those prison officials and the many folks on edge during his escape.
"It will be nicer to come home at night knowing that he's put away, you know," Williestine Walker said.
Walker is feeling more comfortable around the house Thursday, knowing a convicted murderer at the nearby Tucker Prison is back in custody.
"When I 'd come in every evening, they were searching and stuff you know, but I'm glad they got him," Walker said.
Authorities captured 33-year old Curtis Reese Jr. Thursday morning in Cleburne County near Pangburn. Shea Wilson, with the Department of Correction, says they were following up a new lead and found Reese hiding out in a crevice beneath a cliff.
"I'm not sure what he had on him, but from what I understand where he was located, was about 70 feet high on a pretty high cliff," Wilson said.
The remote area is around 85 miles north from Tucker Prison where Reese escaped Monday afternoon.
"We believe he probably had some help at some point along his journey, we're not sure at what point," Wilson said.
They also don't know who may have helped Reese, but Wilson says that's part of the ongoing investigation that will also include interviews with him.
"Because of his escape status, that he was able to successfully escape, he needed to be in our highest security prison and that's the Varner SuperMax," Wilson said.
Back with Walker, there's more relief spilling out with a prison escape cut short.
"At least he'll be far away from here," Walker said.
Wilson says that the investigation into this escape will also include why there was no inmate count before a water tanker truck left Tucker Prison Monday, with Reese and another inmate hiding inside the tank. Wilson says there should have been a count.
And as we've reported earlier this week, the two inmates were refurbishing the truck as part of prison job duty. And authorities found that second inmate Monday shortly after the escape.
As for Thursday's discovery, Wilson says she didn't know who exactly came face-to-face with Reese hiding out in that crevice. But she says all together, they had about 50 people on scene helping out, including SWAT teams and the U.S. Marshal Service.