Curtis Watson is still on the run a day after a rare Blue Alert was issued after he escaped from the West Tennessee State Penitentiary in Henning, Tennessee. There have been no confirmed sightings of Curtis Ray Watson. One reported sighting in Marshall County was later confirmed to not be him. Here are photos of Watson and his tattoos, along with more details and updates about the escaped inmate to help you identify him.
Photos Show How He Might Look With or Without Facial Hair
This is one of the more recent photos of Watson, as shared by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI). The photos are grainy, but give you an idea of what he looks like. Watson is a 44-year-old white male who is 5’11” and weighs 140 pounds. The last time he was seen, he was wearing jeans and a blue TDOC shirt.
When he escaped, Watson had grey facial hair. However, if he shaves his facial hair it could alter his appearance. TBI shared the following previous mug shots of Watson to give people in the area an idea of what he might look like if he shaved his facial hair or tried to change his appearance. These photos are from 2011 and 2013. As you can see, he might look significantly different depending on if he shaves off his facial hair.
Watson was discovered missing from a work detail after Tennessee Correctional employee Debra Johnson was found dead in her house on the prison grounds, TBI reported. A Blue Alert was issued after he was discovered missing. This is only the third Blue Alert since Tennessee started the system in 2011.
He was a minimum custody offender, News 4 reported, and had a job as a farm laborer at the prison. He was discovered missing from his work detail. Authorities believe he escaped from the prison on a tractor that was found a mile from the prison. Watson was in prison since 2013 and was not due for release until May 2025. He was convicted of aggravated kidnapping.
He Has Many Distinctive Tattoos
TBI also released photos of Watson’s many distinctive tattoos to help identify him.
Reports that He Was Seen in Marshall County Ended Up Not Being Watson
Earlier today, there were reports that a man who looked like him was seen in Lewisburg in Marshall County. Nearby schools had temporary lockdowns as a precaution. The person seen was located by officials and was not Watson, Marshall Tribune reported. The lockdowns were later lifted.
A $32,500 Reward Has Been Offered for His Capture
Authorities are now offering a $32,500 reward for information leading to Watson’s capture, News Channel 5 reported. This includes $25,000 from the state of Tennessee, $5,000 from ATF, and $2,500 from TBI.
Residents are asked to check trail cameras and other video surveillance cameras in the area for any sign of Watson, and to talk to their neighbors. Law enforcement will also show up to check your property if you’re not comfortable looking yourself. Do not approach Watson if you see him, as he is considered extremely dangerous. Call 911 or 1-800-TBI-FIND if you see him or have any information about where he might be.