NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has a new addition to its ‘Top 10 Most Wanted’ list: Joel Ernest Blanton.

Blanton (DOB 2-10-81) is wanted by the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department and the TBI after escaping from the Van Buren County Jail at approximately 1:00 AM today. On April 17th, Blanton was found guilty of four counts of Rape of a Child and two counts of Aggravated Sexual Battery. He was awaiting a Wednesday sentencing when he escaped this morning.

Blanton is a white man who stands 5’11” and weighs approximately 236 pounds. He has black hair, brown eyes, and several tattoos on his face, hands, and arms. Anyone who sees Blanton should contact the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND. There is a reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to his arrest.