A violent murderer who allegedly tortured his victim to death escaped a low-security mental health facility in Washington on Wednesday, but he was arrested two days later. The 28-year-old man was deemed too mentally ill to stand trial for his deed, authorities said.
Investigators said they found Anthony Garver hiding in the woods miles away from the psychiatric setting he had escaped from with a fellow inmate through a window. The other patient was apprehended Thursday.
The Western State Hospital is currently under intense scrutiny over its security risks, as the escape could have been prevented. The hospital had already drawn federal investigators’ attention due to violence on patients and staffers.
Garver was locked in the facility for stabbing a 20-year-old woman two dozen times in her chest after he tied her to a bed. A judge decided to put him in a lower-security psychiatric facility after the court ruled that the man was too ill to face charges.
But on Friday, the facility reported that a third patient was missing. We do not yet know any details on that patient. Reportedly, he escaped after going to a walk with another group of patients and failing to return. The hospital added that the three men escaped the same day but the third patient had no connection with Garver.
The Western State Hospital was under scrutiny for a violent attack against a staffer and a sexual attack on a patient. Federal investigators found that the facility had a series of safety hazards such as leaving doors unlocked and failing to secure items that may be used by patients as weapons. Additionally, some employees failed to keep a constant watch on patients.
Because of these problems, the hospital risks losing millions of dollars in federal funds.
Reportedly, Garver took a bus from Seattle to Spokane on Wednesday. On Thursday, the man’s father told the police that his soon had returned but soon left. A team of two police officers and a police dog tracked the man at 8:15 p.m. in the woods close to his parents’ home.
Authorities said that the man was starved and required medical attention before being put in jail. The other patient that helped Garver escape was charged with domestic violence two years prior, but he was ordered to a mental health facility.
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