Vernon police increase search for hospital escapee acquitted of murder by reason of insanity

·1 min read
Courtesy: Vernon Police Department

The Vernon Police Department added multiple law agencies to the search for a state hospital escapee acquitted of murder by reason of insanity.

Alexander Ervin, 29, of Austin, escaped the North Texas State Hospital in Vernon, near the Oklahoma-Texas border on June 26. He was acquitted in the 2013 murder of his father by reason of insanity. Police said Ervin is considered armed and dangerous.

Vernon police said Thursday that the Wilbarger County Sheriff’s Office, Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Rangers, United States Marshals Service and Attorney General’s Fugitive Apprehension Units joined the “systematic search” for Ervin. The agencies are conducting a second search in areas already covered, the post said.

“Therefore, there is no reason to be alarmed by the presence of these Law Enforcement Agencies. However, citizens are encouraged to be aware of their surroundings and remember, ‘if you see something, hear something,’ report it to local Police or Sheriffs Department,” the post said.

Ervin, who is autistic, left his dorm at 9 p.m. on Sunday and was seen on video climbing an 8-foot fence and leaving the hospital campus around 9:15 p.m., heading north, according to police.

Ervin is described as a white man, 5 feet 9 inches tall, approximately 206 pounds and bald with a mustache. He was last seen wearing a gray zip-up hoodie, black shirt, tan pants and black shoes.

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