Officials in New Jersey said that the inmate who busted out of a minimum security prison in New Jersey earlier this week has likely left the town where he was spotted Wednesday.
Barnegat police spent the day Thursday through Ocean County for 38-year-old Arthur Buckel, an inmate at Bayside State Prison who was missing when guards performed a prisoner count at a satellite unit at Ancora Hospital in Hammonton Tuesday morning.
Buckel, who previously served time for the 1996 death of a 10-month-old girl before his latest stint behind bars, was spotted walking into a CVS in the town on Wednesday, prompting school lockdowns.
But late Thursday, officials in the town said that Corrections Department officials developed leads that Buckel had left the Ocean County town. It's not clear where he went.
Barnegat officials said there would still be additional police posted at schools to help abate fears about the escapee.
"This is not normal for Barnegat," said Mayor John J. Novak.
Buckel, whose last known address was in Clifton and had been serving a sentence for aggravated assault, was caught on surveillance cameras at the CVS Wednesday morning wearing construction boots, khakis, a T-shirt and yellow safety jacket.
Barnegat police said that when they responded to the pharmacy they found a 2015 Chevrolet Silverado stolen from Hammonton, about 40 miles from Barnegat. Authorities said that they think Buckel was getting around in the pickup truck.
Buckel was serving a sentence for crimes including aggravated assault, burglary and receiving stolen property. He was set to be eligible for parole on May 21.
A Corrections Department spokesman said Buckel could face an addition 3 to 5 years in prison for escaping once he's recaptured.
Buckel was also convicted of aggravated manslaughter in the death of a 10-month-old girl in 1996, according to NJ.com. Buckel, who was 18 at the time, admitted to slapping the girl, who died from skull fractures.
Corrections Department records show that he was in prison from 1996 to 2010 for the killing, NJ.com reports.
It's the second such escape from Bayside State Prison's Ancora unit in six months. In October, NBC10 in Philadelphia reported that Panagioti Souris busted out of the prison and traveled to Philadelphia.
He surrendered to authorities without a struggle in the Old City district and was returned to the prison.
Anyone who sees Buckel is asked to call 911 and to avoid making direct contact with him.