Search for jail escapee expands to Walker and Montgomery Counties

Bobby Eugene Wood. (Houston County Sheriff's Office photo)
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CROCKETT, Tex. (KBTX)- The search for an inmate who escaped from the Houston County Jail in Crockett is being expanded to Walker and Montgomery Counties after a massive multi-agency manhunt overnight came up empty.

Officers from local, state and federal agencies have completed an extensive search from Crockett south to the Trinity River for Eugene Wood, 55, a pre-trial detainee, who escaped at around 6:05 a.m. Monday, the Houston County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday in an update on its Facebook page.

“We will now focus on areas outside Houston County including Walker and Montgomery counties. Texas Rangers and (the) U.S. Marshals Service will continue to assist in locating and apprehending this fugitive,” the sheriff’s office said.

“All of our focus and resources have been placed on locating Wood. Now we will be reviewing how this escape was facilitated, what we did wrong and where we can make positive changes to better our odds of this not happening again.”

Wood escaped Monday after complaining of feeling ill while working in the jail’s kitchen as a trustee, authorities said.

He was allowed to go to a restroom and escaped through the kitchen receiving door, which he evidently had propped open earlier.

Wood, who’s balding, is white, 5-foot-7, weighs between 160 and 180 pounds, and has gray hair and green eyes.

He should be considered dangerous, the sheriff’s office said in a Facebook post.

A train conductor may have spotted him Tuesday night, authorities said earlier.

The conductor saw a man at around 10:20 p.m. Tuesday sitting along the tracks that run parallel to State Highway 19 matching the description of the inmate.

Wood was last seen wearing black and white striped jail clothing and a dark colored jacket, but investigators later determined that he had obtained a pair of red and black shorts, which is what the man the conductor spotted was wearing.

Authorities are asking anyone who sees him to call 911.