James Ladd: Search continues for NC convicted killer who escaped from prison farm

James Ladd is seen in an undated photo provided by the North Carolina Department of Public Safety. North Carolina authorities continue to search for Ladd, a 51-year-old man serving life sentences for murder and robbery who escaped Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012 while working on a prison farm at Tillery Prison. Tillery is a minimum security prison.
AP Photo/N.C. Department of Public Safety
James Ladd
AP Photo/N.C. Department of Public Safety

(CBS/AP) RALEIGH, N.C. - Authorities were still searching for James Ladd early Tuesday, after the convicted killer escaped two days ago from a prison farm in rural North Carolina.

Officers used helicopters and bloodhounds Monday to hunt 51-year-old Ladd after he was discovered missing from Tillery Correctional Center, located more than an hour's drive east of Raleigh. A tractor that Ladd was operating was found abandoned Sunday morning in a field outside the minimum security prison.

Ladd was serving three life sentences for the 1980 robbery and shooting deaths of two men in Yadkin County. Convicted of double first-degree murder, Ladd became eligible for parole after serving 30 years but was denied release in January 2011, according to records. His next parole review is scheduled for 2014.

Public Safety Department spokeswoman Pamela Walker said it was unclear how long Ladd went missing before prison staff noticed the abandoned tractor around 10 a.m. Sunday.

Records show Ladd is the seventh North Carolina inmate to escape in 2012. All the others have been recaptured.

According to jail records, he was a reasonably well-behaved inmate with no infractions listed for violent behavior while in prison. But officials warn that anyone who comes in contact with Ladd to steer clear and call 911.

Ladd is described as being white with blue eyes, graying hair and a beard, though authorities said he may have shaved since his escape. He stands 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighs about 140 pounds. He was last seen wearing green pants and a white t-shirt, but may also have a pair of black pants.