Escaped Olympic Corrections Center prisoner remains at large

• Man convicted in 2004 of trying to escape from McNeil Island Corrections Center

Mark David Vannausdle

Mark David Vannausdle

FORKS — A man who escaped from Olympic Corrections Center over the weekend remained unaccounted for Monday afternoon.

The Department of Corrections and local law enforcement agencies have been searching for Mark David Vannausdle, 60, since he escaped from the minimum security facility at about 7:08 a.m. Sunday while he was on his way from his living unit to the dining facility.

Inmates have fenced-in living quarters, but other areas of the prison are not fenced. He “took off” during a scheduled movement from this living unit to the dining facility for breakfast, said Darla DePew, spokesperson for the prison.

“Crews searched all night last night,” she said. “We’re rotating search teams. At this point he is still at large.”

DePew said there have not been any sightings that she is aware of.

She said crews from the State Patrol, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, an inmate recovery team made up of Clallam Bay Corrections Center and Olympic Corrections Center staff, an inmate recovery team from Stafford Creek Corrections Center and an emergency response team from Clallam Bay Corrections Center, are all helping in the search.

There are a total of 23 inmate recovery team members and four emergency response team members on the search. The Department of Corrections also has an incident management team that is helping.

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.

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.

Court records show he was convicted in 2004 of trying to escape from the McNeil Island Corrections Center. He was caught after an officer found a ladder he made out of shoelaces and wood scraps.

He was transferred to Olympic Correction Center in June 2017.

The Department of Corrections said not to approach Vannausdle and if he is seen 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.

The prison remained on restricted movement Monday, meaning programs were canceled and inmates could only leave their living units for meals.

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Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at [email protected].

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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