Abandoned road dept truck

A Calloway County Road Department pickup truck is pictured parked on Oct. 31 near the intersection of TN 119 and Rabbit Creek Road in Henry County, Tennessee. This is the truck it is believed Calloway County Jail inmate Henry Rickard Jr. used to drive away from a work detail on the road department grounds in Murray.

MURRAY — Calloway County Sheriff Sam Steger said Tuesday that authorities are hoping the enticement of a monetary award may help lead to the capture of a Tennessee man who escaped from a jail work detail about two weeks ago. 

It was on the afternoon of Oct. 31 that a Calloway County Jail inmate – identified as Henry M. Rickard Jr. – was on a work detail at the Calloway County Road Department grounds on Sycamore Street in Murray when he allegedly jumped into a road department pickup truck and drove away. The truck was later sighted at the intersection of TN 119 (which becomes KY 121) and Rabbit Creek Road inside Henry County, Tennessee, just south of the Kentucky/Tennessee state line. 

Rickard has not been seen by law enforcement since then, so the Murray-Calloway County Crimestoppers program has been activated in an effort to bring Rickard back into custody.

“We’ve received several tips, but nothing that has been able to lead us to him yet,” Steger said. “We have had a few that I would call confirmations, where he was actually seen walking on a road, but we haven’t been able to catch up to him just yet. 

“We’ve gone down there several times, and every time, we’ve been joined by Henry County Sheriff’s Office people. That’s how it always is with us; when they have someone they’re looking for up here, we go with them to search up here and when we go down there to look for someone, they always help us then.

“Hopefully, putting an award out there might help us turn him up.”

Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew said on the day of the alleged escape that he does not believe Rickard will attempt to leave the area. Rickard is listed as having a hometown address of Buchanan, Tennessee, which is in the area where the road department truck was found. 

“I still think that’s right,” Steger said of Belew’s idea that Rickard will stay in the Buchanan area of northeastern Henry County. “You’ve got to remember there a lot of places to hide down there. There’s a lot of woods in that area, and (Kentucky) lake is right there in that area, so he’s got a lot of places he can hide.

“However, I think we will get him eventually.”

Rickard, 57,  is a white male standing 5 feet, 7 inches and weighing about 140 pounds with salt-and-pepper hair and brown eyes. On the day of the escape, he was described as wearing a black jacket and blue jeans. 

Steger said Crimestoppers is offering $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of Rickard. 

According to records provided by the Calloway Circuit Court Clerk’s Office, Rickard was serving a five-year sentence in the Calloway jail on a charge of being a convicted felon in possession of a handgun. This stemmed from a June 2018 case in which Calloway deputies responded to a call of a suspicious person on Bluebell Circle near New Concord. 

Those records show that deputies located and arrested Rickard. He was charged with marijuana possession. He also was allegedly possessing a handgun and since he was a convicted felon previously, that violated previous conditions. In addition, the firearm was allegedly defaced, as well as concealed, bringing two other charges. 

The convicted felon charge was kept in his case, while the other charges were dropped. This resulted in Rickard receiving a five-year sentence on July 19 in Calloway Circuit Court, according to those same records. 

“I wouldn’t consider him dangerous, necessarily, but this is one we would like to get back in custody,” Steger said. “Any time you have someone who has escaped, in my book, it’s someone who is not thinking straight and you never know what that kind of person is going to do, so we need to get him back in the jail.”

Steger said that because Rickard is classified as a state inmate, Kentucky State Police is the lead agency in the case and troopers from Post 1 in Graves County have also been accompanying Calloway deputies to Henry County when searched have been made since the escape. 

KSP asks the public to not approach Rickard, if located. Anyone with information is asked to phone 911 or KSP at 270-856-3721, CCSO at 270-753-3151, Henry SO at (731) 642-1672 or Murray-Calloway County Crimestoppers at 270-753-9500.  

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