‘Dangerous’ escapee from Oregon State Hospital captured after getting stuck in mud for 12 hours

Published: Sep. 1, 2023 at 3:59 PM EDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV/Gray News) – An escaped inmate described as “extremely dangerous” has been captured after getting stuck in mud for 12 hours on Friday.

Christopher Lee Pray, 39, escaped custody from the Oregon State Hospital at about 10:45 p.m. Wednesday.

According to a spokesperson for the hospital, Pray was admitted Wednesday. That evening, he was in an “altercation” with another patient and needed to be taken to a local emergency department for medical care.

When he was brought back to OSH after the ER visit, the spokesperson said he “was able to gain control of the van and drive away.” At the time of his escape, Pray was in full restraints, including leg shackles, belly chain and handcuffs.

At 8:17 a.m. Friday, the Portland Fire & Rescue responded to reports of a possible body in a pond, at North Force Avenue and North Victory Boulevard, in Portland.

Crews arrived and learned the person was still alive but was stuck in the mud, approximately 75 feet from firm ground, and was buried up to their armpits.

After an hour-long rescue, Pray was taken to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center for evaluation where he gave a fake name, however, an employee of the hospital realized it was Pray.

After contacting Portland police, the escapee was taken into custody.