SHARECOMMENTMORE

Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- Law enforcement and state mental health officials are continuing their search for a man who escaped custody from a Columbia mental health facility Thursday morning.

Jason Mark Carter, 39, is now wanted by authorities. Federal law bars state mental health authorities from telling us where Carter was getting treatment, but News19 learned that the facility is on Farrow Road.Previous Coverage:Man Charged in Killings Escapes in Columbia

In 2006, Carter was found in the basement of an Oconee County home with the bodies of his mother and step-father. Although he was never convicted of the slayings, he was ordered to undergo psychiatric treatment at a state mental center.

As law enforcement searches for the suspect, the community near the facility is on high alert.

"A guy that killed two people? Yeah, I'd be worried about my safety," said Aaron Green, a bank teller at the South Carolina State Credit Union on Farrow Road said.

As heavy rains fell Thursday, investigators continued a desperate search to find Carter.

"Just the uneasiness of not knowing where the guy is, Green said.

Word of the escape came to News19 from Oconee County deputies. Representatives from the Columbia Police Department and Richland County Sheriff's Department said they weren't notified either.

"Nobody's come by," said Green. "Nobody's informed us of anything. We've virtually been here all day, but we were totally unaware of it."

The bank is a mere stone's throw from the state's property.

"It makes me feel kind of weary," Green said. "I would have liked to been informed."

The fact that Carter remains un-captured worries those at the Mercer Mental Health Recovery Center near the state's mental health campus.

Lamont Lighty, who works at the center, came running as our news truck, a 2001 2-door white Ford Explorer, pulled into the driveway.

Lighty said it was a near match to the vehicle Carter is believed to be traveling in, a 1991 white Chevrolet van.

"You know we're very alert to the alerts, and I know he escaped in a white van," Lighty said. "Not what year, but anything white."

"This is my neighborhood. I only live about four miles down the road, so you want to make sure you keep track of [people] like this," he said.

Carter is 5' 10" and weighs 165 pounds. He has hazel eyes and brown hair. He was last seen wearing a black coat with a black and white sweater underneath and brown cargo pants.

SLED agents said he may be driving a white Chevrolet van which he stole from mental health property. It has a tag of SG61580 with the number 244 on the bumper.

Agents said his biological father lives in North Carolina and he has other family in Greenville, and he could be headed to those locations.

Anyone with information should call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC, or e-mail a tip in to www.midlandscrimestoppers.com.

You can also text information in by texting "TIPSC" plus your message to CRIMES (274637). Either way you choose, your identity will remain anonymous, and you could be eligible for a cash reward.

SHARECOMMENTMORE