Two men, one a convicted murderer, escape from Mississippi prison
James Sanders and Ryan Young (Mugshots)

Mississippi authorities said they were searching on Monday for two inmates, including one convicted of murder, who escaped from a state prison and who the officials described as armed and dangerous.

The men were discovered missing during a routine count of prisoners at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman on Monday morning, prison officials said.

They escaped sometime on Sunday night or early Monday morning, the Mississippi Department of Corrections said in a statement.

Officials did not say how the men became armed or how they escaped.

The escapees are James Sanders, 41, convicted of murder and sentenced in 2000 to life in prison, and Ryan Young, 22, who is serving 40 years for charges including burglary, grand larceny and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

(Reporting by Bernie Woodall, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien)