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Curtis Reese, Jr., convicted killer, on the run after escaping from Arkansas prison, authorities say

Curtis Reese Jr. AP Photo/Arkansas Department Of Correction

(CBS/AP) TUCKER, Ark. - Authorities are searching for a convicted killer who escaped from a maximum-security prison in Arkansas on Monday.

Curtis Reese, Jr., 33, was serving a 40-year sentence at the Tucker Unit prison when he escaped with another inmate by hiding in an empty water tank atop an 18-wheel tractor-trailer, spokeswoman Shea Wilson said.

The other inmate, 40-year-old James Ryan, was back in custody Monday afternoon.

Authorities were scouring the area where the inmates jumped off, between Tucker and the nearby town of England. Arkansas police helped search the area by helicopter, while officers took to the ground on horseback and in vehicles, Wilson said.

"We're just focused right now on getting (Reese) back in custody," Wilson said.

Reese was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder in the 1997 deaths of Eric Ogden and Lance Kelloms. 

Reese is described as white, with green eyes. He stands about 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs about 176 pounds. He also has tattoos of swastikas and skulls on his body. Anyone with any information is strongly encouraged to call local authorities.