|Manhunt on for Escaped Texas Inmates|
|By CHRISTINA NG (@ChristinaNg27) , MATTHEW JAFFE and JOHN SCHRIFFEN (@JohnSchriffen)||Apr 2, 2013, 11:30 AM|
Texas authorities are using helicopters and dogs to search for two "dangerous" Texas inmates who escaped from jail this morning by squeezing through a gate, leaving behind their black and white prison suits on the railroad tracks behind the jail.
Authorities believe Brian Tucker, 44, and John King, 39, escaped from Hopkins County Jail in Sulphur Springs, Texas, at around 8:30 a.m. today. The jail has approximately 80 inmates who are held there while they await trial.
"Both are considered dangerous," Deputy Alvin Jordan of the Hopkins County Sheriff's Office told ABCNews.com.
Area schools are on lockdown and businesses are on high alert, according to police.
Tucker was awaiting trial in jail for capital murder charges and King had been indicted for evading arrest.
"They were put out on rec yard to have outside rec and undoubtedly squeezed through the gate and took off," Jordan said. "We did find their black and whites about 100 yards behind the facility."
The recreation yard is an open space with a high fence and Hopkins County Sheriff Butch Adams said someone was supposed to be watching the inmates.
Tucker and King were both segregated from other inmates because of the types of crimes they have committed, according to Jordan.
Search dogs tracked their scents northeast, Adams said at a news conference.
"Right now, we don't know if they split up or if they're still together," Adams said. "We found their uniforms when they discarded them on the road behind us and the dogs tracking them and we found footprints."
It is unknown what the men are wearing or whether they may have used some kind of transportation after leaving the jail yard, Jordan said.
Asked if there is any reason to believe they could be armed, Jordan said, "At this point, unless they picked up anything from here to where they're at, the weapons part is unknown."
Their only known connection at this time is that they were inmates at the same time in the same jail with no known previous ties.
"We've still got a perimeter up and hopefully we'll find the," Adams told ABC News. "I've got a lot of good people and volunteers that have come in from other counties."
Authorities are warning people to be careful and call 911 if they see the men.
"If they're spotted, make sure they lock their doors, call 911 and tell us what area they're in," Jordan said. "Don't try to let them approach you."
Tucker is 5-foot-7-inches and about 170 pounds. He has brown eyes, brown hair and multiple tattoos. King is 5-foot-8-inches and 165 pounds. He has black hair, hazel eyes and multiple tattoos.