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US Marshals taking lead in search for escaped prisoner

HOWARD COUNTY, MD — U.S. Marshals are taking the lead in the search for an escaped prisoner, as business in the Jessup area reopen after the weekend. This update comes as the Howard County Police Department increased its reward to up to $10,000.

Last Friday, David Watson was being taken to Clifton T. Perkins Hospital by two guards from the Wicomico County Detention Center when he escaped custody and fled into a wooded area. Detectives say they found handcuffs and a waist chain near the van and even some of Watson’s clothing in the woods.

Investigators confirmed that Watson did not have access to a weapon at the time of the escape, as both of the guards’ handguns were in lockboxes inside the van.

From Friday when he escaped until Saturday morning, officers searched the area where he escaped. Police say they used bloodhounds, K-9 units, teams of officers and helicopters with heat-seeking technology to search for Watson. We’re told there have been no sightings or indications of him in the area. On Saturday afternoon, Howard County Police announced it was suspending its ground search on Watson and they were just following up on leads and tips.

Today officers will be handing out flyers and asking businesses to check their properties, trucks, vans, buildings and any video footage for possible break-ins or sightings of someone matching Watson’s description.

Watson is described as a white male, 5 feet eight inches tall and 150 pounds. He was last seen in the woods in the area of Dorsey Run Road wearing white clothing, with no markings or emblems.

Watson has face tattoos between his eyes and under his right eye, and numerous body tattoos, including “EVIL” on the back of his neck and “SIN” on his hand.

Police are still gathering information and evidence to determine if Watson’s escape was planned, or if it was an impulsive act.

Anyone who sees Watson should call 911 immediately. For general tips and information, contact the U.S. Marshals Service at 443-885-0923 or CAR.FTF@Maryland.gov.