Escaped Tennessee inmate Curtis Watson captured after five-day manhunt

Tennessee Bureau of Investigations is searching for an

Authorities are searching for a Tennessee convict who officials say is a person of interest in the death of a corrections employee and escaped a prison on a tractor.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said on Twitter that 44-year-old Curtis Ray Watson was caught hours after a confirmed sighting of him in the west Tennessee community of Henning, where he escaped from the West Tennessee State Penitentiary on Wednesday.

Henning is about 45 miles northeast of Memphis.

Authorities say 64-year-old Debra Johnson, a correctional administrator, was killed on Wednesday.

It was not immediately clear whether Watson and Johnson had been in contact before, but one official said it was "not uncommon for her to know the inmates who work on the property".

Watson had been serving a 15-year prison sentence for aggravated kidnapping at West Tennessee State Penitentiary when he escaped custody.

TBI said Watson escaped prison grounds, and the tractor was found nearby.

Watson has been added to the Tennessee State Bureau of Investigation's most wanted list and is considered "extremely risky", according to officials.

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Currently, there are warrants issued against Watson for First Degree Murder, Especially Aggravated Burglary, and Aggravated Sexual Battery.

"He could be anywhere", Rausch said.

The victim was identified as 64-year-old Debrah Johnson, a 38-year TDOC employee.

The search for Watson is focused on an area surrounding where the tractor was recovered, a rural area near the prison in Lauderdale County.

In a news conference, the TBI says they've received at least 75 tips from all across the state from those claiming to have seen Watson.

This photo provided by The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation shows Curtis Ray Watson.

Rausch declined to discuss details of how authorities believe Johnson died, citing the ongoing investigation. It tweeted pictures of his tattoos and his face, and additional mug shots in case he changed "the appearance of his facial hair after his escape". His sentence began in 2013 and was set to expire in 2025. He was previously convicted of aggravated child abuse.

They offered a reward of $52,500 for information leading to his capture, and hundreds of tips poured in.

"We need Tennesseans to be vigilant", Lee said. And a half-hour later, coworkers found Johnson's body in her home when she didn't report for work. If you see him call 911.

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