SHERIDAN, Ore. (KOIN) — Andrew Kristovich escaped a federal prison camp in Sheridan on April 25. Members of the public weren’t notified about it until May 6.
The story didn’t come to light until US Marshals announced they were looking for Kristovich after a woman was raped in Clark County and her vehicle was stolen.
Sheridan Mayor Rich Cox told city council on Monday night he had the same questions everyone else did: why wasn’t the public notified sooner?
“I personally was upset that the public was not notified until later,” Cox said Monday. “Upon learning of the escape I started fact-finding and listening to our community members.”
Cox said he found out a notification was sent to Sheridan City Hall but it’s not clear when and how.
The Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office told KOIN 6 News they were notified of the escape by fax about 6 hours after Kristovich got away. They didn’t notify the public, officials said, because they do not send public notifications when they are not the primary agency.
Authorities with the Federal Bureau of Prisons said they sent out a press release the day of the escape.
For Mayor Cox, these answers point to a big problem he wants solved. He believes there should be a procedure in place to alert the town if and when a federal inmate escapes.
He hopes to work with the city council, the city manager and the city attorney to figure out how to make it happen.
“With the help of the local media, city council, city staff, I am as your mayor dealing with this escape issue head-on,” he said. “I am eager to work together with Sheridan City Council, FCI and the sheriff’s department to resolve this issue and create a viable answer.”
Cox knows there is work to be done. He said he was invited to meet with the FCI Community Relations Board and will report back on what he learned about their notification process.
“Together I believe that we can create a new level of trust with our community.”
Kristovich, 38, was caught May 13 with help from authorities in Nevada after learning he was staying there in a tent. Officials found an AR-style rifle with five magazines inside, US Marshals said.