METTER — A man who escaped the Candler County Jail early Tuesday morning is considered dangerous, Metter Police Chief Dennis Nelson said.
Robert L. Williamson, 36, of Palm Bay, Fla., escaped less than a week after he was arrested Aug. 1 in Bulloch County on charges he shot Mike Mosley several times in the torso July 25.
The U.S. Marshals Service Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force and Bulloch County deputies arrested him without incident.
At the time of his arrest, Nelson said, “There was also information circulating that Williamson stated to others that he would not be taken alive, so we are thankful to have him in our custody.”
In a released statement Tuesday, Nelson said, “Williamson does have a history of assault against police officers and should be considered very dangerous. It is unknown whether he is armed by now, but he is known to be armed in the past.”
Candler County Sheriff Homer Bell said Williamson escaped the jail by enlarging a hole in a shower wall. Williamson worked for the company that built the jail and was familiar with the layout of the building, the sheriff said.
Williamson fled in the early hours of the morning, wearing an orange jumpsuit. Once outside the building, he used bolt cutters to escape the prison yard, according to reports. Bell would not comment further on the escape, except to confirm the use of the tool and to say the investigation is ongoing.
Bulloch County Sheriff’s investigators, Georgia State Patrol troopers, Chatham County law enforcement officers and agents from the U.S. Marshals Service and Georgia Bureau of Investigation all gathered around the jail off Georgia Highway 46 Tuesday, helping with the search.
Officers used a helicopter and K-9 units to aid in the search as well, but the active hunt was called off around 12:30 p.m.
Searchers communicating by radio stated that tracks were found in a cotton field surrounding the jail. The Candler County Sheriff’s Office and Detention Center complex is surrounded by a grassy area, then by agricultural property and thick, swampy woodlands.
Nelson said Tuesday that Williamson does have family in Candler County but added that it is possible he is headed to Florida.
“We support the sheriff’s office in any way possible and we are beating the bushes looking for him,” the police chief said.
Bell said the search for Williamson continues, even though an intense local search yielded nothing Tuesday morning.
Anyone having any additional information on this case is asked to contact the Candler County Sheriff’s Office at (912) 685-2568 or Metter Police Investigator Justin Wells at (912) 685-2190 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Holli Deal Bragg maybe reached at (912) 489-9414.