Escaped Child Rapist from Arkansas Prison Believed to be Armed & Dangerous Has Ties to Wyoming
An escaped Arkansas prisoner on the run from authorities is believed to be armed and dangerous, and he has ties to Wyoming.
Samuel Hartman escaped from an Arkansas prison while on work duty on August 12, 2022, according to investigators.
Hartman was currently serving a life sentence for his admitted rape of his stepdaughter, in 2013. The girl was under the age of 14.
KNWA/KFTA in Fayetteville, Arkansas reported that, during an interview with Franklin County Sheriff's Office investigators, Hartman admitted to abusing the child.
"During that interview, he admitted to having sexual contact with his stepdaughter on more than one occasion," KNWA/KFTA reported. "After the interview, he was allowed to use the phone and took the investigator’s digital recorder and deleted the interview. In addition to rape, he was subsequently charged with tampering with physical evidence."
Hartman was convicted of rape in 2013 and filed multiple appeals. In February of 2017, the Arkansas Supreme Court denied his final attempt at a re-hearing.
Fox13 in Memphis reported that they had reached out to officials at the East Arkansas Regional Unit, as well officials at the Arkansas Department of Corrections to find out what kind of 'work duty' Hartman was on, which led to his escape.
"The Arkansas Department of Corrections (ADOC) would only say that a conference committee decides on a case-by-case basis which prisoners can be on work detail," Fox 13 stated. "A check of Hartman’s prison records found he was put on a Senior Work assignment in 2015. He also has been charged with battery while in prison and failing to obey orders, as well as several offenses for manufacturing contraband."
KNWA/KFTA reported that, "According to the ADC, Hartman escaped from his field maintenance crew assignment on Arkansas Highway 79 and fired a weapon at officers. Deputies from the Tunica County, Mississippi Sheriff’s Office said that they believe there was a vehicle located on the Arkansas side of the Mississippi River.
"Arkansas State Police stated that a farmer reported seeing two abandoned jet skis on a boat ramp. Deputies found the jet skis abandoned on a boat ramp near Mhoon Landing Park, and they said that they believe that Hartman used the jet skis."
Hartman was believed to have been assisted in his escape by two women, Linda Annette White, 60, and Misty Hartman, 38. Hartman was said to be Samuel's wife. White is said to be his mother.
"He has ties to Tulsa, Oklahoma and Wyoming," Fox 13 wrote.
And those ties to Wyoming could, in fact, be his ex-wife and daughter.
K2 Radio News spoke with Hartman's ex-wife, Tonya Hartman, who said that neither she, nor her now 20-year-old daughter, have any sort of relationship with the man.
"I don't believe she'll contact either one of us," Tonya said.
Tonya, who left Hartman in 2005, revealed that she doesn't believe Hartman ever performed any criminal acts on their daughter, but she did reveal that he had gotten violent with her "a couple times."
She declined to offer any more detail in that regard.
Fox 13 wrote that Hartman "may be traveling in a white 2021 Chevy Z71 Trail Boss with Arkansas plates 398 ZVY or no plates at all, according to the Tunica County Sheriff’s Office."
Tonya stated that there's a chance Hartman could come to Wyoming.
"It's a possibility," she stated. "He knows the mountains up here. But I don't know if he'd be dumb enough to come here. Eventually they'll have to go into town and get supplies or whatever. He was down in Gillette for a while [years ago] and he's also been to Nebraska. He used to work in Nebraska. There's no telling where they might be."
Tonya confirmed the relationships of the two women to Hartman, stating that Misty was his wife and Linda was his mother.
"[Linda] was different," Tonya laughed. "She could be not nice."
Tonya, like most other followers of this case, was surprised that Hartman was on work duty, given the violent nature of his crimes.
"I just don't understand how he escaped," she stated. "It doesn't make a lot of sense. I don't know if it was a payoff job or something, I don't know. It's weird that there isn't a reward or anything being offered to find him."
Tonya said that while she wasn't scared that Hartman would try to contact her or her daughter, she does think people, until he's caught, should be alert.
"He was pretty adamant about getting out, and a gun was involved," she stated. "So there's no telling what he, or they, could do."
If you see or have any information about Hartman or his accomplices, do not approach them. Call 911 or the Casper Police Department at 307-235-8278.
To stay up-to-date on the case, you can visit this Facebook page.
Hartman and his accomplices are said to be armed and extremely dangerous.