Inmate who escaped from Monroe prison arrested in Seattle

MONROE, Wash. — The search for an escaped inmate from the Monroe Correctional Facility is over.

The inmate, 59-year-old Patrick Lester Clay, was arrested Monday night in Seattle’s Beacon Hill neighborhood.

He escaped from the minimum security unit Friday morning. Police say Clay broke into an office during routine maintenance cleaning that was part of his duties as a porter. He then stole keys to an employee’s truck and drove off the prison grounds.

The truck was found in Seattle’s Central District on Monday.

Clay was set to be released on Dec. 24, 2025 following convictions in King County for burglary, malicious mischief, theft, and harassment.

KIRO 7 spoke with the Department of Corrections about the escape. According to a spokesperson, Clay was only serving a two-year sentence at the facility. Chris Wright with the Department of Corrections says this is the second escape in Washington within the past two years.

“I know the number of escapes has gone down for sure, but they do still happen,” Wright said.

Wright says when it comes to how exactly Clay was able to escape so easily, they will look at their protocols going forward.

Clay’s case will be referred to local prosecutors for escape and auto theft charges.

Comments on this article