Escaped psychiatric patient found

Lee Swanigan in a photo from 2011 (Courtesy to KOIN 6 News)
Lee Swanigan in a photo from 2011 (Courtesy to KOIN 6 News)

MILWAUKIE, Ore. (KOIN) — A 31-year-old convicted robber walked out of a psychiatric treatment facility Aug. 31 and remained at large until Friday evening.

Lee Swanigan was found guilty except for insanity of robbery and assault in 2008 and was put under the jurisdiction of the pyschiatric review board for 10 years.

In 2011 he was granted a conditional release and moved to the Johnson Creek Secure Residential Treatment Facility in Milwaukie.

Last Saturday, he walked out. Shortly before 8:30 p.m. Friday, Swanigan was found and taken into “custody without incident,”  Juliet Follansbee of the Psychiatric Review Board told KOIN 6 News in an email.

The executive director of Johnson Creek told KOIN 6 News by phone that Swanigan punched in the access code to the front door and left while most of the other residents were away with staff on a field trip. There was a staff member at the facility when he left.

The Johnson Creek Secure Residential Treatment Facility as seen on their website, Sept. 6, 2013

The Johnson Creek Secure Residential Treatment Facility as seen on their website, Sept. 6, 2013

Their website describes the eight-bed facility as a place that “promotes community safety and the psychiatric recovery of individuals who are under the jurisdiction of the Psychiatric Security Review Board.  Residents living at Johnson Creek will be ready for community integration with a high level of support and supervision.”

Columbia Care Services, which owns the home, said they contacted the police immediately as well as the neighborhood association. The state, which contracts Johnson Creek, said Swanigan’s family and his victim were also notified about his disappearance.

But several families who live nearby told KOIN 6 News they hadn’t heard about his escape.

One neighbor said she spoke with Swanigan once in a while when he was out for a walk with a facility staff member. She described him as friendly and is worried about his safety.

He will go back to the Oregon State Hospital, where he was before he went to Johnson Creek.

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