Saline County, Arkansas – On Sunday morning around 10:30 a.m., Wuanya Smith escaped from Saline County Jail.
This is four days after he was arrested in Saline County on Sept. 7. “He was awaiting extradition to Nebraska for a warrant for murder,” said Saline County Sheriff Deputy, Justin Kirk.
During the escape, Kirk said, “he scaled a twelve-foot and an eight-foot fence that did have razor wire and barbed wire”.
Word quickly spread to those in the community. “When my grand-daughter brought me the phone, I looked at it and said, “what is this”? I didn’t have my glasses on and she was like somebody done escaped, and I looked, I said… murder? Saline County? That’s just two blocks over,” said Saline County resident, Patricia Wilkins.
It happened Sunday morning during the inmate’s recreational time, according to Kirk. “During rec time, he borrowed clothes from other inmates, and decided that’s when he was going to make his escape,” said Kirk.
According to Kirk, deputies tried to get him, “but we were unsuccessful”.
So the search began. Law enforcement from all over the county, and Arkansas State Police started searching with cars, dogs, and even the air.
“I happened to be in the kitchen and I was in there playing a game on my phone, talking to my niece, and a helicopter was going over, and I was going, I wonder who that is in the helicopter,” said Wilkins.
Kirk said the community has become more involved in the search. “There’s a lot of people out looking for the person, we have seen a lot of people parked on the side of the roadway where he was last seen. I have noticed that the scanners are being listened to a lot more on the apps,” said Kirk.
Patricia Wilkins said that until he is caught, “it’s time to lock it down, you know it’s time to lock it down”.
Kirk said Wuanya Smith is believed to be wearing white pants with gray stripes, no shirt, and white tennis shoes, and that he has a tattoo on his neck that states “death before dishonor.”
They believe Smith was injured from his escape, and they do not believe at this time he is armed. Deputies urge the community to call 911 immediately and not approach if they see Wuanya Smith.
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