FORKS — The state Department of Corrections and local law enforcement were searching Sunday for an inmate who escaped from Olympic Corrections Center near Forks that morning.
Mark David Vannausdle, 60, escaped at about 7:08 a.m. Sunday while he was on his way from his living unit to the dining facility, according to DOC.
Correctional employees initiated escape procedures, deploying its inmate recovery teams and notifying law enforcement in the area.
“We have teams searching at this point and more staff arriving,” Darla DePew, spokesperson for the prison, said Sunday.
She said that by late afternoon Sunday there had been no sightings of Vannausdle since he escaped.
Vannausdle was last seen wearing a yellow raincoat, tan pants and a tan shirt and was walking north on the Hoh Mainline, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.
The Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post that Vannausdle has ties to the Port Angeles area.
DePew said she would not release more details about how he managed to escape during breakfast “at this time.”
“I haven’t been given anything else to release at this point,” she said.
The inmate recovery team from Stafford Creek Corrections Center also joined the search.
Vannausdle was convicted of first-degree assault and first-degree robbery with firearm enhancement in Pierce County.
He began serving a 240-month sentence Sept. 10, 2002, and had a release date tentatively set for Jan. 1, 2021.
The Department of Corrections said not to approach Vannausdle and if he is seen, people should contact Olympic Corrections Center by calling 360-374-7000 or call 9-1-1.
Olympic Corrections Center is surrounded by forest for miles and is a minimum security facility that houses about 380 male inmates.
The prison is about 27 miles south of Forks.
Visitation, volunteer and contractor programming at the prison were canceled Sunday due to the escape.
Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at email@example.com.