JESSUP, Md. - The reward offered in the search for a prisoner who escaped custody outside a Maryland hospital Friday has increased to $10,000. Authorities said Monday there have been no confirmed sightings of 28-year-old David Watson, who was being transported from the Wicomico County Detention Center to the Clifton T. Perkins Psychiatric Hospital in Jessup when he escaped.
U.S. Marshals have taken the lead in the search for Watson, but Howard County and Maryland State Police continue to assist in the investigation.
Throughout Friday and into Saturday morning, police continued to search the area around the hospital with bloodhounds, K-9 units and helicopters with heat-seeking technology, but so far there has been no sign of him.
Watson was serving a sentence of over 100 years for attempted murder in Delaware, and at the same time faces additional charges in Maryland for the attempted murder of police officers in Wicomico County, Md. He was due to undergo a mental evaluation in that case when he escaped, Howard County authorities said.
At about 9:40 a.m. Friday, when the van carrying Watson and two Wicomico County Detention Center guards pulled into the hospital parking lot, authorities say Watson managed to push the guards aside and flee into the woods near Dorsey Run Road. Investigators found handcuffs and a waist chain near the van and articles of Watson’s clothing in the woods.
It is not believed Watson was armed when he escaped, as the guards who were transporting him had secured their weapons inside the van before they opened the door. There is no indication as to whether the escape was planned or if it was an impulsive move by Watson.
On Monday, Howard County officers went door-to-door visiting local businesses in the Jessup area, asking them to check for signs of break-ins or signs of someone fitting Watson's description on surveillance video. They were asked to check their properties, trucks, vans and buildings for any sign of him.
Howard County police have released photos of the tattoos on Watson's body. He has a tattoo that says "evil" on the back of his neck, "Watson" on his right arm, and "SIN" on one of his hands. He is described as a white male who is 5'8" tall and weighs 140 pounds. He was last seen Friday in a wooded area near Dorsey Run Road, and was wearing white clothing with no markings or emblems.
Authorities are asking anyone may have seen Watson to call 911 immediately. For general tips and information, contact the U.S. Marshals Service at 443-885-0923 or CAR.FTF@Maryland.gov.