Two inmates are on the run after authorities discovered the pair missing during an emergency count at 1:45 a.m. Saturday at Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman.
Officials said the Mississippi Department of Corrections K-9 and Emergency Response Teams are searching for David May, 42, and Dillion Williams, 27.
Day was convicted of two counts of aggravated assault and sentenced to life in prison in October 2017. He is 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighs 171 pounds, according to jail records.
Williams was convicted of residential burglary and aggravated assault and sentenced to 40 years for the two crimes in 2010. He is 6 feet, 2 inches tall and weighs 175 pounds.
Prison officials said both men are black males of medium build with brown eyes and black hair.
All prisons throughout Mississippi, including state, private and regional facilities, were still on lockdown Saturday following a violent week during which at least four inmates have died since last Sunday.
“We are continuing to be vigilant and mindful of the situation,” Commissioner Pelicia E. Hall said in a statement Friday. “These are trying times for the Mississippi Department of Corrections. It is never a good feeling for a commissioner to receive a call that a life has been lost, especially over senseless acts of violence.”
Several other inmates were injured during the incidents. The state said one death occurred at the South Mississippi Correctional Institution in Leakesville and another at the Chickasaw County Regional Correctional Facility in Houston. Two of the deaths were at Parchman, from which May and Williams just escaped.
There was a fifth death in the past week, also at Parchman, but the Department of Corrections said it was unrelated to the “major disturbances.”
“There is a lot of misinformation fanning the flames of fear in the community at large, especially on social media,” Hall said in a statement. “Cellphones are contraband and have been instrumental in escalating the violence.”
“I understand the public’s right and need to know,” Hall continued. “But my department will not rush to release information for the sake of perpetuating rumors.”
All prisoner movement in the state’s three prisons, three private prisons and 15 regional facilities is limited to emergencies only, authorities said.
Anyone with information about May or Williams is asked to contact the MDOC at 662-745-6611 or the nearest law enforcement agency.