BUTTE — Montana State Prison officials have ended their ground search for a convicted sex offender who escaped Monday morning.
Warden Leroy Kirkegard said crews had been searching through thick brush near the prison for signs of 42-year-old Dean Randolph Jess. That portion of the search ended Tuesday.
The vehicle Jess used to escape was found Monday at 11:30 a.m. about 1.5 miles south of the prison property.
Prison staffers are investigating Jess' recent activities and have searched his cell, but Kirkegard said they've found no clues about where he might go.
He was described as "not a problem inmate" and had worked with the prison motor vehicle maintenance program since 2006.
Jess was serving a 55-year prison sentence for a Park County conviction.