Salem, Ore. (KOIN 6) — An inmate who escaped from the minimum security Mill Creek Correctional Facility in Salem has been on the loose since Saturday.
Jerry Texeira, who has a long criminal history but was currently imprisoned for possession of meth and burglary, walked out of the correctional facility in Marion County. Police said they believe his girlfriend, 27-year-old Lacy Evans, was waiting nearby for him in a car.
While neither Texeira nor Evans have been spotted since then, questions are being raised as to how an inmate was able to walk out of the Mill Creek Correctional Facility, one Oregon’s two minimum security facilities that are not fenced in.
“At this time, we are not sure where exactly he left from – if he was outside on the yard, if was inside and decided to leave from inside,” said Department of Corrections (DOC) Spokesperson Elizabeth Craig.
Craig explained that the Mill Creek Correctional Facility houses nearly 500 convicts, all of which are about four years away from being released. The DOC said the inmates are usually well-behaved and not likely to run away.
Craig said so far this year Texeira is the only walk away compared to five in 2013. In those instances, one inmate from the Deer Ridge Correctional Institution in Madras walked away from a work crew while the other four walked away in pairs in two separate incidents from the same facility as Texeira.
“These few instances are a very small percentage of the total minimum population. We know that sometimes inmates make poor choices,” Craig said.
According to Craig, law enforcement typically apprehends escapees within days, if not hours.
Meanwhile, Craig said the DOC is always taking steps to ensure more walkaways do not occur.
“We are always taking precautions. Public safety is our number one priority, so we take incidents like this very seriously…with any walk away or escape we do an internal review,” said Craig.
Anyone with information as to Teixeira’s whereabouts is asked to call Oregon State Police at 1.800.452.7888.