Authorities are searching for a convicted murderer who escaped the Pine Bluff Unit Saturday, June 21.


PINE BLUFF, Ark. (KTHV) - A convicted murderer serving a 240-month sentence at the Arkansas Department of Corrections' Pine Bluff Unit reportedly walked away from his work assignment Saturday evening, June 21.

Shea Wilson with ADC said Timothy Buffington, 47, is said to be 5'6" and about 182 pounds, with a scar on his upper left arm and his right wrist.

Preliminary investigation released by ADC two days after the escape shows that Buffington broke into a safe room that Saturday at a house located on prison grounds and obtained a shotgun. According to Wilson, the door was dead-bolted, but he managed to kick the doorframe out.

Wilson said Buffington was doing yard and janitorial work at the house. Jefferson County Sheriff's Official officials told THV11 that they believed he was armed with a backpack of ammo in addition to the shotgun.

According to Wilson, the home was beyond the parameters, which is how Buffington got away. It is said to be on prison grounds but outside of the prison gates.

On Thursday, July 24, Wilson said there is now $4,000 in reward money available for information leading to Buffington's capture and arrest. For any information regarding Buffington you are asked to call (870) 267-6421.

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According to Wilson, he confronted a woman who lives at the home, and attempted to have her drive him off the prison grounds, but she was able to get away. She reportedly ran to Randall Williams Correctional Facility for help.

She said ADC continues to focus on public safety, and officials plan to conduct a full investigation surrounding his escape when he is back in custody.

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Since his escape, a number of individuals have reported seeing Buffington, but authorities describe those tips as concluding in dead ends. The search continues to be focused on an area near the prison along Princeton Pike.

"We don't have anything to take us away from this area right now. We are still having reports of sightings of him and while some of them are not valid, there has not been anything to take him away from the area so we have to concentrate here," said Shea Wilson.

Buffington had been considered a trusty inmate. Wilson said he had no previous record of escapes in 15 years behind bars.

He is said to have shot his ex-wife Rhonda Combs in the head with a rifle while she sat in her boyfriend's truck in Booneville in July of 1998. According to Wilson, he was admitted to ADC on March 12, 1999. Combs and Buffington had been in a custody dispute over their two children.

If you have any information on Buffington's whereabouts, please contact authorities immediately.

Extended interview from June with ADC's Shea Wilson:

Shea Wilson with the Arkansas Department of Corrections speaks with THV11 about the search for Timothy Buffington, a convicted murderer who escaped the Pine Bluff Unit Saturday night.

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