updated 7:46 PM UTC, Sep 23, 2020

Search continues for escaped inmate

Robert Key mugshotMUGSHOT: Robert Key

By Chris Edwards
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WOODVILLE – Several area law enforcement agencies are seeking an escaped inmate from the Tyler County Justice Center.

The inmate, Robert Edward Key, Jr., age 42 of Silsbee, was reported as missing yesterday at 12 p.m. Jailers discovered that Key, who had trusty status, had walked off the grounds of the facility.

According to Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford, officials were able to locate Key’s orange inmate outfit in a wooded area near the jail. Pack dogs were called in from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Gib Lewis and Polunsky units but were unable to locate the inmate.

At present, the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office, Hardin County Sheriff’s Office and the Texas Rangers are searching for Key.

Weatherford said that law enforcement is receiving and following up on “so many leads” in the search for Key. “We are still concentrating our efforts on south Tyler/north Hardin County area,” he said.

Key is described as a white male, 5’11” and 170 lbs., with sandy-blonde hair and blue eyes. He has several tattoos, according to a Crime Stoppers bulletin. The names “Bailey” and “Brittany” appear on his left and right forearm, respectively; he has a bulldog on his right inner forearm and scripts on his left upper arm and right shoulder.

He has been in custody at the Tyler County Justice Center since last October, where he was charged with manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance. He is now charged, also, with felony escape.

If you have any information regarding Key’s whereabouts, you can contact TCSO at 409-283-2172 or Crime Stoppers at 936-639-TIPS.

Tipsters who submit information to the Crime Stoppers tipline that assist in locating Key could earn a cash reward. The entire process, from tip to reward, is handled without identifying the tipster.

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