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Detectives searching for escapee

January 18, 2009|By DAVE McMILLION

HAGERSTOWN -- The search for a convicted murderer who escaped from the Maryland Correctional Institution-Hagerstown Saturday was mostly in the hands of detectives Sunday night, a Maryland State Police spokesman said.

After it was discovered that Kandelario Garcia-Ramos had escaped from the facility along Sharpsburg Pike south of Hagerstown early Saturday, a "ton of troopers" were dispatched to the area to look for him, said Cpl. J.W. Stonebraker of the Hagerstown state police barrack.

As of Sunday afternoon, the search for Garcia-Ramos was mostly being handled by detectives, Stonebraker said.

"We're not out searching houses like we were yesterday for him," Stonebraker said.

A Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services spokesman said Sunday there had been no sightings of Garcia-Ramos.

Rick Binetti also did not have any details about which direction Garcia-Ramos might have fled after he apparently scaled the fence at the institution between 5:30 and 6:30 a.m. Saturday.

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Officials said Garcia-Ramos might have had cuts from climbing through razor wire.

Binetti said Garcia-Ramos appeared to have few contacts in the area.

No one had visited Garcia-Ramos at the prison and there was no one on his "call list," Binetti said. The call list refers to a certain number of phone calls inmates can make from the prison, Binetti said.

Prison officials know to whom the calls are made, Binetti said.

Regarding the hunt for Garcia-Ramos, Binetti said the search was mostly in the hands of law enforcement.

Binetti said his agency does not have the resources to have a bunch of "trooper cars out" looking for Garcia-Ramos.

"We're communicating with them and they're (updating) us on anything new," Binetti said of the state police.

It is believed Garcia-Ramos escaped while his unit was moving to or from the dining hall for breakfast, officials said.

The local prison has a fence that is about 18 feet high and has razor wire looped around the top, Binetti said. Investigators believe Garcia-Ramos used clothing to cover the razor wire, he said

Garcia-Ramos is not known to be armed, but should be considered dangerous, police said. Authorities are advising motorists to be wary of hitchhikers and are asking anyone who sees Garcia-Ramos to call 911 immediately.

Maryland State Police were notified of the escape by prison officials shortly before 10:30 a.m. and launched an immediate search with patrol troopers, K-9 units and a helicopter, state police spokesman Greg Shipley said.

Binetti said the institution was put on lockdown as soon as the escape was discovered, but police were not notified until after it had been verified.

An official with AFSCME Maryland, the union that represents state correctional officers, blamed the incident on staffing shortages at the institution.

The Prince George's County Gazette reported Garcia-Ramos was caught on tape stabbing his former boss at Two Brothers Tire City in Brentwood, Md., on Dec. 26, 2007.

He was serving a 40-year sentence.

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