MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The search for Curtis Ray Watson ended Sunday about 10 miles from West Tennessee Penitentiary, from where he was reported missing on Wednesday. 

Watson was captured around 11 a.m. in Henning, Tennessee. The escaped inmate was charged with the murder of Correctional Administrator Debra Johnson, the Tennessee Department of Correction said in a press release.

As law enforcement vehicles left the scene, a TDOC employee excitedly waved them on, waving her hands in celebration 

Numerous civilian cars honked while driving through the area.

“The vigilant efforts of search teams from the Tennessee Department of Correction, THP, FBI, US Marshal’s, local law enforcement, TBI, ATF and with helpful tips from the citizens of Lauderdale County led to Watson’s capture at approximately 11 a.m. on Sunday, August 11,” the TDOC press release stated.

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Watson was spotted in Henning early Sunday morning. Henning is about 60 miles north of Memphis.

Johnson, a corrections administrator at the prison, was found dead in her residence 30 minutes after prison officials discovered Watson was missing.

Watson, 44, was serving a 15-year sentence for an especially aggravated kidnapping charge. The Tennessee Department of Correction’s Office of Investigation and Compliance are continuing to work with other agencies to investigate the incident and bring additional charges if appropriate, the TDOC said.  

This story is still developing and will be updated as more information becomes available.

Follow Cassandra Stephenson on Twitter: @CStephenson731


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