Manhunt back on! Convicted baby killer a no-show for surrender in Ocean County
The search for convicted baby killer Arthur Buckel is back on in Ocean County, as law enforcement swarmed over the Forked River service area on the Garden State Parkway on Sunday night after he failed to show up for an arranged surrender.
Lacey Police said Buckel — who escaped from a work detail at the Ancora Hospital of Bayshore State Prison in South Jersey last Tuesday —had notified family he wanted to turn himself in and arrangements were made with New Jersey State Police to meet at the service area near exit 77.
But he left the area before surrendering, authorities said. Lacey Police, Berkeley Police, State Police and the New Jersey Department of Corrections set up a command post and began a search of the immediate area.
Police said Buckel is believed to have headed north on foot from the service area and are focusing their search on the west side of the northbound Parkway and in Berkeley Township. K9 teams tracked him to Double Trouble State Park, according to PIX11.
Buckel is now clean-shaven and was last seen wearing a grey, long-sleeve sweatshirt; grey shorts; and work boots, according to Lacey Police.
Lacey Police said school in their community will be in session as usual. Additional personnel will be in place at the Mill Pond and Cedar Creek Schools along with extra patrols in the areas of concern for children at the bus stops. School personnel will be providing additional monitoring and supervision as well during the arrival of students. Parents are asked to stay with their children at the bus stops.
Buckel was the subject of a massive search in Barnegat last week. The New Jersey Department of Corrections took back the lead in the search after announcing he was no longer believed to be in Barnegat.
The DOC remained tight-lipped about the search and would not reveal where they were looking Buckel
“A lot of people are looking for him,” including members of the DOC’s fugitive unit and K-9 units said DOC spokesman Matt Schuman said over the weekend.
In 1996, Buckel pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter for slapping his girlfriend’s baby to death. He was released in 2010, but jailed again after charges of burglary, possession and aggravated assault charges that date back to 2014.
He is described as a white male with brown hair and blue eyes, standing 5 feet and 9 inches tall, and weighing 180 pounds. His last known address was in Clifton.
Anyone encountering Buckel should not approach him and should immediately call police.