• Escaped prisoner apprehended after manhunt

    By: Shelby Miller

    Updated:

    An inmate who escaped from the Olympic Corrections Center over the weekend was safely apprehended Tuesday morning by officials. 

    Mark David Vannausdle, 60, was found less than two miles from the corrections center. He will receive a medical assessment and then be transported to a state correctional facility for questioning. 

    ORIGINAL STORY:

    A search is underway in the Olympic Peninsula for an escaped inmate who was behind bars for a violent assault.

    Mark David Vannausdle, 60, escaped from the Olympic Corrections Center near Forks Sunday at 7:08 a.m. while moving from his living unit to the dining facility, according to the Washington State Department of Corrections.

    Vannausdle has been behind bars since Sept. 10, 2002 for assault and robbery. Investigators said he shot a cab driver twice in the back in Pierce County.

    Seventeen years ago, KIRO 7 cameras were in the courtroom for Vannausdle's sentencing. In 2002, he said he regretted committing the crime. 

    "With all my heart and soul I'm sorry for what I've done," said Vannausdle in 2002. 

    Investigators believe the escaped inmate may also be tied to his wife's disappearance.

    In April 1993, Connie Vannausdle vanished from the family's Lacey home.

    Court records show Sunday's prison escape wasn't Vannausdle's first attempt. 

    In 2004, two years into his 20-year sentence, a McNeil Island corrections officer found a 10-foot ladder Vannausdle made out of shoelaces and wood scraps. Vannausdle told investigators he made the ladder using items he scrounged from inside the prison.  

    Charging documents state Vannausdle said the ladder was initially intended for escape, but he changed his mind because of the risk involved. 

    Vannausdle was scheduled to be released from prison Jan. 1, 2021. 

    The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office said he was last seen wearing a yellow raincoat, tan pants and a tan shirt. He was seen walking north. 

    Investigators said Vannausdle is considered dangerous and should not be approached. Anyone who believes they see him is asked to call 911. 


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