Officials said James Ladd was operating a tractor on a prison farm Sunday morning. The tractor was found abandoned on the farm just before noon Sunday.
The 51 year old is serving three consecutive life sentences in connection with robbery and shooting deaths of two men on a Yadkin County farm in 1981.
"We're following up on any tips we get. I'm not aware of any sightings--no one's put eyes on him today. We've got bloodhounds on the ground. We have had some success today following some tracks, but nothing that stands out so far," North Carolina prison spokesman Keith Acree said.
Officials said Ladd had a history of good behavior while at the minimum security prison.
"Over the years he's shown through his behavior he's earned that privliege. Like I said, until today, we've had no problems with him in minimum custody," Acrees said.
ABC11 found prison system records that show Ladd had seven violations, including a most recent offense in 2010 for unauthorized tobacco use.
Authorities said there is no reason to believe Ladd is armed or has access to a vehicle.
Anyone who has seen Ladd, or has information on his whereabouts, should call local law enforcement or the Tillery Correctional Center at (252) 826-4165. They caution that Ladd should not be approached.