Police: Violent sex offender escapes halfway house

Thomas Lee Elkins, 58, has been convicted of sexual assault, police say

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AUSTIN, Texas - Authorities are searching for a violent sexual predator who fled from an east Houston halfway house this afternoon, the Texas Department of Public Safety said.

According to DPS, Thomas Lee Elkins, 58, was last seen at 2:45 p.m. at the Southeast Texas Transitional Center on 10950 Beaumont Highway, where he was housed and electronically monitored.

Elkins is six feet three inches tall and weighs about 200 pounds. He has blue eyes, grey hair, a distinctive 'Fu Manchu' moustache, wears silver glasses for reading only and walks with a limp. He has also been known to shave his head.

Elkins was last believed to be traveling on foot.

According to a press release from the DPS, "At last word, Elkins was believed to be on foot. However, he has worked as a long-haul truck driver and would fit in around any truck stop. It is a possibility he may ask other drivers for a ride."

Police said Elkins is considered violent and has been convicted of kidnapping, aggravated battery, aggravated sexual assault and sexual battery. 

He is now wanted for a felony charge of Failure to Comply with Civil Commitment Requirements, authorities said.

Anyone with information is asked to call local police immediately.

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