Violent Sex Offender Escapes From State Hospital; Hopped Two Fences Without Anyone Even Noticing

Did you hear the one about the violent sex offender who escaped from a state hospital by scaling two 16-foot razor-wire fences without anyone even noticing? If you haven't, it's probably because it's no joke; it really happened Saturday night in Phoenix, and the suspect is still on the loose.

Health Department officials say 40-year-old Jorge Murillo, a Honduran national who just finished a 10-year prison sentence for sexual assault, escaped from the Arizona State Hospital on Van Buren and 24th Street in Phoenix, where he was being held as he awaited a civil ruling that would have potentially kept him off the street for another 10 years.

Murillo was convicted of sexual assault in 1999, and upon completing his criminal sentence, was placed in a program at the state hospital that specializes in sex offenders who are still deemed a risk to society, as he awaited a civil court ruling that could have kept him there indefinitely.

The folks at the hospital had custody of Murillo for six short days before he decided he had seen enough and split.

Doesn't seem like it was all that difficult, either.

According to Arizona Department of Health Services Interim Director Will Humble, all this guy had to do was hop a few fences. With nobody really looking, how hard is that?

About10 p.m. on Saturday, while in a small recreation yard on the North side of the jail, Murillo used his bed sheets to hold back the razor wire as he scaled two different sets of 16-foot fencing, walked through a large parking lot, and disappeared into downtown Phoenix.

Murillo, in his mug shots, has long, stringy black hair and a ratty looking mustache, but don't look for a guy using that description because, according to Humble, a few days before he left he shaved his head and face.

The only reason authorities knew he was gone was because some of the other "patients" went to the guards and essentially said, "Um..some dude just hopped both those fences and is now free."

Sounds like it might be tougher escaping from the clutches of a well-taped cardboard box than from the state mental hospital.

Humble says there were video cameras in the section of the yard where Murillo basically just walked out of the facility but would not say whether they captured any of the escape.

What may be more alarming than the fact that Murillo is walking the streets is that he escaped on Saturday night and nobody bothered to alert the public until late Sunday night.

Humble says once he learned of the escape, Phoenix police were notified as he and hospital staff tried to pinpoint just how the man got away.

This isn't exactly as complex a plan as the Shawshank Redemption. The guy was there six days, noticed there was nobody was watching him, and took off.

An investigation is under way into the security breaches at the hospital, Humble says, and law enforcement is doing everything possible to track down Murillo.

Anyone with information regarding Murillo's whereabouts is encouraged to call their local police department.  

Sponsor Content


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >