01/30/2012 03:57 pm ET

Joseph Ozment Found: Missing Mississippi Murderer Found In Laramie, Wyo.

A convicted murderer who vanished after being pardoned by ex-Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour has been found in Laramie, Wyo., The Associated Press reports.

Authorities were searching for Joseph Ozment because he didn't show up for a required court appearance Friday after Barbour freed him and other killers amid controversy earlier this month.

Tips led investigators to the 40 year old who was living under a phony name in a hotel with his girlfriend, according to statements from Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood. Ozment allegedly fled when local police confronted him, but returned to the hotel on his own.

A judge didn't issue a warrant for Ozment's arrest however, because authorities never served him with papers saying he must check in every day and verify his location, The AP reports.

The Mississippi Attorney General's Office offered an unspecified reward for tracking down Ozment, media outlets reported.

Ozment had been serving a life sentence since 1993 for killing a store clerk during a robbery, WREG says.

Barbour, the former Republican governor, pardoned and granted clemency to about 200 inmates as one of his last acts in the statehouse. It's turned into a major scandal with Hood, a Democrat, trying to overturn the release of five them, WLBT reports.

In addition to Ozment, 19 other freed prisoners are missing, according to Reuters.