(WXIA) - Jasper County deputies now say a reported sighting of two wanted and dangerous inmates is 'unsubstantiated,' and they have called off the search.
"After in depth search and interviews with the original callers it has been determined that the subjects were more than likely not the subjects wanted out of Georgia," they wrote on Facebook. "Search operations have been suspended.
They'd earlier gotten reports that two men matching the descriptions were spotted in Switzerland, S.C. in the Exit 18 area.of Interstate 95. They'd asked residents to be 'vigilant' and call in tips.
A statewide-turned-nationwide manhunt has been underway since Tuesday, when authorities say Ricky Dubose and Donnie Russell Rowe who were being transported on a Georgia Department of Corrections bus filled with 33 prisoners, overpowered and killed two officers and fled.
Veteran correctional officers Christopher Monica, 42, and Curtis Billue, 58, were killed near Eatonton, Ga., around 6:45 a.m.
Dubose and Rowe then stole the Honda Civic of a man who happened upon the scene and fled. Hours later, authorities said the two broke into a home in Madison and stole clothes and food.
Sometime that night, a white F-250 was stolen in the Seven Islands Road area of Morgan County. The vehicle is described as a 2008, two-door model with silver tool boxes on both side rails. The Georgia license plate is BCX5372.
'The public is in grave danger'
Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills said Thursday that the reward for information on the fugitives has been increased to $130,000.
“This is the greatest effort, I’ve ever seen,” Sills said. “Our focus right now is to apprehend these two dangerous criminals.”
If you see the truck or them, they are considered "armed and dangerous,” and you should call, 911 or 877-WANTED2 (926-8332).