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FOREST PARK, Ga. -- State corrections officials are looking for a man they said walked away from prison work detail.

The Georgia Department of Corrections says Ricky Burdette walked away from a kitchen detail at the Clayton Transitional Center on Oct. 11. They said a statewide lookout is in effect.

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Burdette is described as a black male, 55 years old, 5-feet-9-inches tall and weighing 165 pounds. He has brown eyes and black hair.

Officials said Burdette was being held under a life sentence for murder. He had been in jail since July 1975.

According to jail officials, Burdette was close to being paroled when he escaped. Investigators have no idea why he would try to escape after 37 years in jail.