WASHINGTON — The attempted murderer who escaped Friday while being transferred to a Maryland psychiatric prison continues to elude law enforcement.
In a Monday update, Howard County police said the U.S. Marshals Service has taken the lead in the search for David M. Watson, who was being transported to Clifton T. Perkins hospital in Jessup, Maryland, on April 28.
Police said they have no confirmed sightings of Watson, despite using bloodhounds, police dogs and helicopters with heat-seeking technology. The reward for information leading to the 28-year-old’s arrest has been increased from $5,000 to $10,000.
Watson was being transported by two guards from the Wicomico County Detention Center when he pushed a guard and ran into the woods.
Investigators found handcuffs and a waist chain near the van, and articles of Watson’s clothing in the woods.
Prison and police officials have not addressed whether they believe Watson hid a key during his transfer, or how he was able to get out of his restraints.
In addition, police have not said whether they think Watson had help in executing his escape.
Watson, 28, was serving a sentence of more than 100 years in a correctional facility in Delaware for attempted murder.
He is also charged in Maryland with attempted murder of law enforcement officers in Wicomico County, but was found not competent to stand trial.
He had been periodically transferred to Perkins, where doctors would offer observations of his mental health.
Howard County police officers were visiting businesses Monday in the Jessup area, handing out fliers and asking businesses to check their properties, vans, trucks, buildings, and security footage for possible break-ins or sightings of someone matching Watson’s description.
Watson is described as a white male, 5 feet eight inches tall, and 150 pounds. He has face tattoos between his eyes and under his right eye, and numerous body tattoos, including “EVIL” on the back of his neck and “SIN” on his hand.
Anyone who sees Watson is asked to dial 911 immediately.