Police are on the hunt for a convicted killer who reportedly escaped from a New Jersey prison on May 3.
Just weeks before being eligible for parole, Arthur Buckel, 39, ran away from Bayside State Prison.
While Buckel was currently serving a two-year sentence for burglary and assault, he was previously in jail for 14 years on manslaughter charges.
In 1995 he was accused of slapping his crying girlfriend’s baby, 10-month-old Caitlin Colon, to death, NJ.com reports. Buckel was just 18 years old at the time.
He originally faced a murder charge for this crime, but he took a plea deal, and his charge was downgraded to aggravated manslaughter. Buckel was sentenced to 25 years in prison in 1996 and was released on parole in 2010.
"The child was defenseless, a true innocent,'' Assistant Hudson County Prosecutor Jeffrey Ziegelheim said during Buckel's first sentencing in 1996, according to NJ.com.
Deputy Public Defender Carl E. Broege Jr. said Buckel should go to a juvenile detention center where he could receive counseling, but the judge denied the request.
After being released in 2010, Buckel was jailed again in 2015 on assault and battery charges.
The last time Buckel was spotted was at a CVS store on May 4 wearing a bright yellow jacket and driving a reportedly stolen vehicle, ABC News notes.
Authorities cautioned locals to stay indoors that day and placed schools on lockdown, before opening them up again on May 5.
However, each school now has an increased police presence, and authorities have released various images of the man’s face to the public via social media.
"The search for Arthur Buckel continues this evening as law enforcement agencies search areas of Barnegat Twp," Ocean County Police, Fire and EMS wrote on Facebook on May 4, alongside the photos of Buckel.
“Any sightings of Buckel or suspicious activity should be reported to police immediately," they added. "Two additional photos from CVS courtesy of the BarnegatPoliceDepartment are attached here along with a photo showing Buckel if he had shaved his face. Updated information will be relayed from authorities as it is available & not "in the moment" for safety of our men & women in the field."
Meanwhile, Mayor John J. Novak is encouraging residents to lock their car doors, garages and sheds at night, according to ABC News.