'Dangerous' Escaped Inmate on the Run in NJ

Arthur Buckel last spotted at CVS in Barnegat
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 5, 2016 9:39 AM CDT
Escaped inmate Arthur Buckel.   (Barnegat Police Department)
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(Newser) – A convicted killer remains on the run after escaping a psychiatric hospital in New Jersey on Tuesday. Arthur Buckel, 38—who was eligible for parole in less than three weeks, per NJ.com—was discovered missing from the Bayside State Prison unit of Ancora Psychiatric Hospital in Hammonton during a 6am headcount, reports the Asbury Park Press. He was serving a three-year sentence for aggravated assault, drug possession, and burglary, and was previously convicted of the aggravated manslaughter of a 10-month-old infant, whom a prosecutor says he hit "out of frustration when the baby wouldn't stop crying." Police believe Buckel drove a stolen 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 60 miles north to a CVS pharmacy in Barnegat, where surveillance video showed him buying gum and food on Wednesday.

Buckel—who also worked as a janitor in the prison, per NBC Philadelphia—wasn't found at relatives' homes nearby and hasn't surfaced since, police say, though they believe he may still be in the area. Dogs are helping with the search, made difficult by recent rain. A Coast Guard helicopter with a thermal imaging camera has also been employed. Authorities describe Buckel as white, 5-feet-9 inches tall, 180 pounds, with light blue eyes, facial hair, and a small tattoo under his left eye. He was last seen wearing a bright yellow jacket and khaki pants. A police rep says Buckel likely isn't armed but should be considered "dangerous." Area schools opened Thursday with police officers on guard. (Read more escaped criminal stories.)

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