Shannon Dewayne Watts

Pettis County Sheriff's Office

Police: Escaped inmate last seen on Missouri State Fairgrounds

Police advise you to call 911 and do not engage with the inmate if you see him.

August 19, 2019 - 1:13 pm

SEDALIA, Mo. (AP) — Authorities are looking for an inmate who escaped from a crew that was helping to clean up after the Missouri State Fair came to an end for the year.

Missouri Department of Corrections spokesman Karen Pojmann says 34-year-old Shannon Dewayne Watts, of Springfield, was reported missing around 12:45 a.m. Monday when he didn't return to a van to return to the Tipton Correctional Center. He was serving a 15-year sentence there for charges that included burglary, resisting arrest and tampering with a motor vehicle.

The search was expanded beyond the nearly 400-acre fairgrounds in Sedalia several hours later when law enforcement couldn't find Watts. He is described as 6-feet (1.83 meters) tall and 195 pounds (88.45 kilograms). 

The 11-day fair began Aug. 8 and ended Sunday night.