CASPER, Wyo. — A prisoner who escaped from a rest area near Independence Rock remained at large Sunday, authorities said.
Kenneth James Ward disappeared about 5:40 p.m. Saturday while still in handcuffs. He was being taken to a jail in Sweetwater County by a private prisoner transport company, said Natrona County Sheriff’s Cpl. Kevin Norcross.
Ward made his escape while others he was traveling with went to the restroom, Norcross said. He was tracked for a time, but his trail was lost when he apparently entered the Sweetwater River.
Authorities are currently searching for Ward. He has violent history, and shouldn’t be approached, according to the sheriff’s office. Drivers passing through the area should avoid stopping for hitchhikers.
Independence Rock was open Sunday to the public, Norcross said.
Ward is 6 feet tall, weighs 180 pounds and has brown hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing khaki shorts, a black shirt and flip flops, according to a description released by the sheriff’s office. He was handcuffed in front of his body, but was not wearing leg shackles.
Ward has a stab wound on his left side that occurred while he was at another detention center, Norcross said.
Anyone with information on Ward’s whereabouts is asked to contact the sheriff’s office at (307) 235-9282.