Oregon prison inmate escapes from Deer Ridge

Oregon prison escape: For the first time an inmate has fled from the 7-year-old Deer Ridge Correctional Institution in Central Oregon, state officials said Monday.

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An inmate has escaped from the 7-year-old Deer Ridge Correctional Institution in Central Oregon, the first time someone has fled from the prison itself, state officials said Monday.

A search for the inmate in the nearby town Madras turned up no trace of him.

Jefferson County Sheriff Jim Adkins said he may have changed clothes from his prison clothes and left the area.

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An SUV stolen not far from the prison was found in the town, leading to precautions at a hospital and school.

But, "the trail is kind of petering out, a dead end," Adkins told KTVZ-TV (http://bit.ly/1neAnci ).

The inmate was identified as 31-year-old Clinton Orvill Swearingen II, reported missing Sunday night. Swearingen was serving time on theft and burglary convictions in Linn County.

Swearingen went missing between the afternoon and evening inmate counts, the latter conducted around 10:30 p.m., Department of Corrections spokeswoman Elizabeth Craig said.

She confirmed that blood was found on a prison fence.

The prison is four miles east of Madras. It has a 774-bed minimum-security facility and a 1,228-bed medium-security facility, but the medium-security facility has never held inmates.

She said it was the first "true escape" from the prison. Last year, an inmate walked away from an outside work detail, cutting vegetation to reduce fire risk in a forest. He was arrested in Beaverton three days later.

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Information from: KTVZ-TV, http://www.ktvz.com/

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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