A suspect in an attempted mur*der case who escaped from an Oregon mental hospital in shackles was discovered buried up to his armpits in mud, and police say he nearly escaped again by giving a false name before a hospital employee recognized him.
Friday at 8:17 a.m., Portland authorities responded to a report of a possibly deceased person in a pond after Christopher Pray had been on the run for two days.
When rescue crews arrived, they reportedly began speaking with the man in the mud and informed authorities that police officers were not required.
The patient was buried up to their armpits in mud approximately 75 feet from solid ground, according to an Oregon State Police news release. The patient could only be extracted using a rope and a ladder.
It took about an hour to extricate the man, who had not yet been identified as Pray, 39, from the muck before transporting him to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center for evaluation.
“The patient gave a false name, but a vigilant hospital employee noticed he resembled Christopher Pray,” according to the authorities. “Hospital staff notified the Portland Police Bureau, who responded and confirmed his identity.”
Pray was apprehended and returned to custody. Police are investigating how he escaped custody. It is unclear how he removed his shackles.
“We want to thank the vigilant medical personnel who recognized Pray and alerted the authorities,” said state police.
At 10:30 p.m., while being transported to the Oregon State Hospital in Salem by medical personnel, Pray seized control of the vehicle and fled. Wednesday, according to officials.
Pray was taken back into custody after being arrested. The police are investigating how he managed to evade capture. It is unclear how he freed himself from his shackles.
“We want to thank the vigilant medical personnel who recognized Pray and alerted authorities,” state police said.
Pray was being driven to the Oregon State Hospital in Salem by medical personnel at 10:30 p.m. when he seized control of the vehicle and fled. Wednesday, officials reported.
The local newspaper reported that he then led troopers on an extended, high-speed car chase southbound on Interstate 5, but police eventually called off the pursuit due to safety concerns.
“Pray is considered extremely dangerous and should not be approached,” Oregon State Police said at the time, urging anyone who saw him to call 911 immediately.
According to Oregon Public Broadcasting, Pray is charged with first-degree robbery, attempted aggravated mu*rder, assault, and felon in possession of a firearm in connection with an armed robbery and shooting in Multnomah County in which he is accused of nearly kil*ling a woman.