The search for fugitive Arthur Buckel continues. But unlike the massive police search that enveloped Barnegat earlier this week, authorities are not saying whether they know where prison-break convict may be.

After two days of an intense search for Buckel in Barnegat and southern Ocean County, the state Department of Corrections took the lead in the investigation after determining he had left the area by Thursday afternoon. The DOC remains tight-lipped about their search.

DOC spokesman Syed Hasaf said that he could not comment about any aspect about the case.

"We don't want to give any information that could help the escapee," Hasaf said.

Buckel, 38, was discovered missing from the Ancora unit of the Bayshore State Prison in Hammonton on Tuesday during an early morning head count. He was just over three weeks from being eligible for parole. Buckel worked as a janitor at Ancora.

Police said he stole a pickup truck and made his way to Barnegat, where he has relatives.

“A tremendous amount of resources have been allocated to this endeavor,” Barnegat Police Chief Ryan said, though he did not have specific details as to the exact amount of money that the municipality spent in resources and overtime in the past week.

In 1996, Buckel pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter for slapping his girlfriend’s baby to death. More recently, Buckel’s record includes burglary, possession and aggravated assault charges that date back to 2014.

He is described as a white male with brown hair and blue eyes, standing 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighing 180 pounds. His last known address was in Clifton

Anyone encountering Buckel should not approach him and should immediately call police.

Vin Ebenau contributed to this report

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