BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. (NEWS10) — Law enforcement and corrections officers in Vermont are on the lookout for a convicted murderer who absconded from furlough. William Wheelock was last seen in Bellows Falls on Wednesday after removing an electronic monitoring device.
Police describe Wheelock as:
- 6 feet, 2 inches tall
- 215 pounds
- Thinning gray hair
- 666 tattoo on left eyelid
He has ties to the Springfield, Massachusetts area.
Witnesses last saw Wheelock get into a dark SUV at Penguin Mart on Rockingham Street around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. The vehicle—possibly a Nissan Rogue—had Vermont plates, held several individuals besides Wheelock, and set off northbound on Route 5 toward Rockingham.
Wheelock was furloughed on January 28. He served over 20 years on the 21 to 99-year sentence he received for second-degree murder in 1987.
Wheelock wore an electronic monitoring device during furlough, which he cut off and threw away. The Department of Corrections notified Bellows Falls police around 2:30 p.m. on February 5.
Police urge anyone with information about Wheelock or his whereabouts to contact the Bellows Falls police at (802) 30463-1234 or Westminster Barracks at (802) 772-4600.
Do not approach Wheelock if you see him. Call 911 instead.
The furlough program, run by the Department of Corrections, is for inmates who pose little or no risk to public safety. Furloughed inmates serve their time in the community so they can acclimate once they’ve done their time.