Law enforcement seek convicted murderer who absconded from furlough

William Wheelock, 55, was convicted in 1987 of second-degree murder and sentenced to serve 21-99 years in prison. He was released on furlough Jan. 28, 2020, but removed an electronic monitoring device and absconded on Wednesday. Feb. 5. Anyone who sees him or has information about his whereabouts should call local law enforcement or 911.

WATERBURY, Vt. – The Vermont Department of Corrections, Vermont State Police, and multiple local, state, and federal law-enforcement agencies are searching for convicted murderer William Wheelock, 55, who removed an electronic monitoring device and absconded from furlough Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020.

Wheelock was convicted in 1987 of second-degree murder and sentenced to serve 21-99 years in prison. He was released on furlough Jan. 28, 2020. He was under DOC supervision and residing in transitional housing in Bellows Falls at the time he absconded. While on furlough, he was required to wear an electronic monitoring device. Wheelock cut off and discarded the device, which alerted DOC to immediately notify law enforcement.

The Bellows Falls Police Department was notified about the incident at about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5, and launched an investigation to locate and apprehend Wheelock. The Vermont State Police was notified and assisted with the search for Wheelock. After attempts to locate Wheelock were not immediately successful, a mittimus warrant for Wheelock’s arrest was issued by the Department of Corrections.

Through investigation police have verified that Wheelock was last seen at about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5, when getting into a dark-colored SUV, possibly a newer model Nissan Rouge with Vermont registration, at the Penguin Mart at 124 Rockingham St. in Bellows Falls. The vehicle contained two or three other people and travelled north on U.S. Route 5 toward Rockingham.

Wheelock is described as white, 6 feet 2 inches tall, and weighing about 215 pounds, with blue eyes, thinning gray hair, and “666” tattooed on his left eyelid. He has ties to the area of Springfield, Mass.

Based on the circumstances surrounding his abscondence and his lengthy remaining incarcerative sentence, Wheelock’s behavior is considered unpredictable and potentially dangerous.

A joint investigation to apprehend Wheelock is ongoing by the Department of Corrections, Bellows Falls Police Department, Vermont State Police, and the U.S. Marshals Service.

Anyone with information regarding Wheelock’s whereabouts is asked to contact local law enforcement. If Wheelock is located or seen, members of the public should not approach or contact him and instead immediately call 911 or one of the following agencies:

  • Vermont State Police Westminster Barracks, 802-722-4600
  • Bellows Falls Police Department, 802-463-1234
  • U.S. Marshals Service, 802-951-6271
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