According to a post on State Fair Community College's website, the Pettis County Sheriff’s Office has advised the college that a 34-year old inmate from the Tipton Correctional Facility has escaped and was last seen on the Missouri State Fair Grounds.

The inmate, 34-year old Shannon DeWayne Watts was reportedly last seen on August 18, wearing a white T-shirt and gray pants.

Students, employees and area residents are asked to be alert, lock their vehicles, and secure all possessions.

If you see Watts, call 911 immediately. Authorities say to not engage Watts in any way.

Shannon Dewayne Watts is described as a 34 year-old white male, 6’ tall with brown hair, brown eyes and glasses.

Watts is serving a sentence for second-degree burglary, two counts of first-degree burglary, three counts of forgery, two counts of possession of a controlled substance, two counts of resisting arrest, two counts of tampering with a motor vehicle, possession of a firearm, and leaving the scene of an accident in Greene County, as well as two counts of resisting arrest in Tane County.

He was received by the Missouri Department of Corrections July 29, 2015. He previously was incarcerated from Sept. 9, 2012, to April 22, 2014.

Sunday, Aug. 18, marked the final day of the 11-day Missouri State Fair. All year, teams of minimum-security work-release offenders perform maintenance and other work under close supervision at the fairgrounds. Larger teams are tapped during the fair to help with setup, cleanup, grounds-keeping and other duties.

The Corrections Emergency Response Team (CERT) was activated and assisted local law enforcement and the Missouri State Highway Patrol in a thorough search of the fairgrounds, concluding at 6:15 a.m. Monday. Watts was not found on the fairgrounds. Local law enforcement and the Missouri State Highway Patrol continue to work with the Department of Corrections to apprehend the offender.

Missouri DOC
Missouri DOC

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