A manhunt continued Friday in Washington state for an accused killer who escaped with another man from a psychiatric hospital, while the facility reported a third patient went missing on the same day of the escape in a “separate event.”
The accused killer, Anthony Garver, remained on the loose Friday, a day after he was reportedly spotted near his parents’ house. Another patient who escaped with Garver through a locked window at the Western State Hospital in Lakewood was recaptured Thursday.
The third patient left through an unlocked door during an escorted visit to a “fashion center” outside the premises Wednesday morning, the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services said.
Department spokesperson Kathy Spears said he was on “unauthorized leave” and said it would be wrong to characterize it as an escape.
The patient was committed to the hospital after being found incompetent to stand trial on charges of burglary and violation of a no contact order. The charges were dismissed.
"When patients make progress in their treatment programs they are allowed grounds privileges designed to help them transition from the hospital to living back in the community. ...If they don’t return after their authorized leave, they are then considered to be on unauthorized and law enforcement is notified," Spears told NBC News. "These are not escapes."
Lakewood police Lt. Chris Lawler told NBC station KHQ that patients failing to return is not uncommon. “It’s not an escape,” he told the station.
Meanwhile, the hunt for Garver continued Friday. He was spotted approaching his parents’ house in northwest Spokane County Thursday, and his mother called 911, KHQ reported.
Garver was accused of fatally stabbing a woman 24 times. He was committed to the psychiatric facility two years ago after being found incompetent to stand trial.