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Interview with Escaped Pine Bluff Killer's Daughter
BOONEVILLE, AR (KARK) -- An Arkansas inmate is still missing after escaping from custody late last month.
Timothy Buffington, 47, was convicted of a 1998 murder and had four years left on his sentence.
"This is my mother Rhonda and this is my father Timothy. She was 23, and then Dad shot her," explains Francis Buffington.
She was just 8 years old when her father shot and killed her mother 16 years ago.
"It made me smarter, tougher. You learn a lot more about the world, wouldn't be who am I today without it," she says.
On June 21, Buffington escaped from prison in Pine Bluff, armed with a shotgun.
Authorities say he was a trustee doing yard work, serving a 20-year sentence.
"Shock! I mean I got the phone call and it's like, what? She had to repeat it to me. She's like, your father has escaped have you seen him?," says Francis.
Rhonda was laid to rest at Carolyn Cemetery in Booneville. Her daughter says what makes Timothy Buffington's escape so difficult to understand is that he was well on his way to finishing his sentence.
"Why else would you runaway and lose everything that you've been working for 16 years to get to come home to your kids? Because he told me himself on his visitations that all he cared about was coming home to his kids," she says.
Buffington says deputies have been patroling her neighborhood but she hasn't seen her father.
"Do you think your dad is alive right now?," she is asked.
"Not having any sightings of him? Honestly no. I mean how can one man not be seen, ever? It's been a month, come on," Francis says.
But she isn't giving up that she will again see the man who killed her mother.
"Just hoping they find him safely," says Francis.
"If you could tell your dad one thing right now what would you tell him?," she is asked.
"I love him and to be strong," she responds.
The Arkansas Department of Correction says the search for Buffington continues.