UPDATE: West Virginia State Police say they have caught two prisoners who escaped from a Pocahontas facility over the weekend.The men were caught in Nicholas County, near Richwood, Sgt. Michael Baylous said.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Authorities are searching for two convicted felons, one of whom is a convicted murderer from Kanawha County.
Larry Morehead and Thomas Pennington escaped from Denmar Correctional Center in Hillsboro, Pocahontas County, early Sunday.
Jim Rubenstein, Division of Corrections commissioner, said Morehead and Pennington were present for one count early that morning but not for the next.
"It was less than two hours when we noticed that they were not in their room where they were supposed to be," Rubenstein said. "They do them (prisoner counts) a little bit more frequently during the night there at the facility."
The Division of Corrections' special operations team, a canine team and an investigative unit were working to figure out how the two got away from the medium-security prison, Rubenstein said.
Those teams were searching the area as well as interviewing other inmates. They will stay at the facility until the men are caught.
It appeared the pair left the main building through a window and then scaled the razor wire-topped fence to the side of the prison.
"It appears that one or both of them may have injured themselves a little bit," Rubenstein said. "They found some blood there."
State Police were working with corrections and county sheriffs deputies in the area to locate the men. Police were using a helicopter and ground patrols in the search, according to a secretary at the Marlinton State Police detachment.
She said it was unclear if either convict was still in Pocahontas County.
Electronic message boards along Interstate 64 in that area warned motorists not to pick up hitchhikers.
Pennington, 40, was serving a life sentence for arson and the murder of South Carolina resident George Owens. A jury found Pennington guilty in 1998 of shooting Owens in the head, burying his body at a local dump and then burning his vehicle.