TUNICA COUNTY, Miss. (WREG)– A multi-agency search continues for an Arkansas fugitive and two female accomplices on the run since Friday.
Samuel Hartman, a convicted rapist serving life, walked away from a work detail at the correctional facility in Brickeys, located about 45 miles from Memphis, and got assistance crossing the Mississippi River.
Law enforcement said a camper found in the Tunica Cut-Off community is where Hartman’s mother Linda White and sister Misty Hartman lived for a while. Both women are suspected of aiding Hartman in his escape.
A neighbor who didn’t want to be identified told WREG that two ladies at the camper moved in around the end of July.
US Marshals, a SWAT detail from Desoto County, and deputies from Tunica raided the camper Friday night on a tip that Hartman and the two women might be there but they were gone.
The neighbor also told us what she saw Friday night.
“Three command posts set up. The law enforcement had rifles and night vision glasses,” she said.
Officers didn’t know the camper was empty Friday night when, according to the neighbor, they moved into action.
“And then I heard the dogs and then I heard the shots and then I heard them crashing into something. They were tearing the trailer up.”
We’re told a large SWAT vehicle with a battering ram was used to pull down one of the camper’s walls.
It’s unknown what evidence was recovered but we did see bags of women’s wigs left behind as well as a military uniform and some camouflage clothing.
We’re also told the women were seen bringing in a pair of jet skis by trailer days before Hartman’s escape from Arkansas and at one time several vehicles had been backed into the woods and covered up.
But on Friday, the jet skis were gone and only the trailer remained.
Hartman is believed to have traveled two and a half miles by jet ski before he and one or more accomplices landed at a boat ramp in Tunica County.
The neighbor believes Hartman’s escape and the getaway were well planned by the trio who she believes have left the area.
“Because they don’t have a home to come back to or a shelter to stay in now, because it’s destroyed,” she said.
It’s believed another person may be assisting Hartman.
All of them are considered armed and dangerous. If you spot them, you are urged to contact local authorities.