Prisoner walks away from work site |

Prisoner walks away from work site

A prisoner working with the Nevada Department of Forestry on a controlled burn north of Round Hill Shopping Center escaped just before 1 p.m. Wednesday.

Douglas County Sheriff’s deputies followed Dirk Williams’ tracks though the snow to U.S. Highway 50 where witnesses reported seeing him get into what they believe was a red Ford Mustang, according to Sgt. Lance Modispacher. Witnesses said the car was headed east.

Williams, who was convicted of grand theft auto, is a 45-year-old white male and is 5-feet-10 inches tall. He has red hair and blue eyes and was last seen wearing a blue prison uniform, but authorities said he has probably changed his clothes.

“Our opinion is that someone planned to pick him up,” Modispacher said. “We don’t have evidence of that but it looks like he was picked up pretty quickly. He was not standing around out there.”

Williams has been a prisoner at Stewart Conservation Camp for two months and has more than a year remaining on his sentence, according to corrections officer Rodger Hughes.

The conservation camp is a minimum security facility where inmates can apply to serve the last 18 months of their sentence working for the Forestry Department the U.S. Forest Service and other agencies.

Modispacher described the prisoners as working on an honor system and Hughes said the lack of security contributed to Williams’ escape.

Inmates earn approximately $3 a day at the camp and for each day they work, one day is removed from their sentence. Men cannot work at the camp if they have been convicted of violent or sexual offenses, however, Williams does have a history of minor violence, according to Hughes.

Despite his past crimes, authorities do not consider Williams violent. They believe he may be headed to Carmichael, Calif., where his mother lives.

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