TILLERY — Corrections and law enforcement officers are still trying to find an inmate convicted of murder and robbery who escaped from a prison farm in Halifax County on Sunday morning.
James Ladd, 51, was working in farm fields when he abandoned the tractor he was operating and left around 10 a.m. Sunday, according to Keith Acree, spokesman for the N.C. Department of Public Safety.
Ladd was serving three life sentences for a robbery and the shooting deaths of two men on a Yadkin County farm in 1980. Ladd became eligible for parole last year, after serving 30 years in prison, said Acree. He was denied parole in January 2011 and is scheduled for his next parole review in 2014.
Prison authorities describe Ladd as a white man with graying hair and a beard, though they say he may have shaven the beard since his escape. He stands 5 feet 4 inches tall, weighs about 140 pounds and has blue eyes. Ladd was last seen wearing green pants and a white t-shirt, but also may have a pair of black pants.
Officers searched Sunday night, with officers on the ground and a State Highway Patrol helicopter overhead. Both the ground and air searches are continuing today, with support from the state Wildlife Resources Commission officers and Alcohol Law Enforcement agents, said Acree.
More than 60 Prison Emergency Response Team members and prison officers are involved in the search.
Anyone who sees Ladd should not approach or confront him, but should call 911.
Ladd’s escape was the first from Tillery Correctional Center since December 2007, when two non-life sentence inmates left a work assignment at Odom Prison Farm and were apprehended in South Carolina two days later.