Four of the seven youths who escaped from Echo Glen Children’s Center made their way about 170 miles before they were picked up by law enforcement near Walnut Grove Elementary School, according to police.
On May 28, the Washington State Department of Children, Youth and Families reported seven residents of the facility, located in Snoqualmie, escaped shortly after midnight. The escapees assaulted a staff member who worked the night shift during routine checks and stole the employee’s personal belongings, which included car keys.
Echo Glen staff contacted law enforcement and secured the campus, a news release stated. By the afternoon of May 28, three of the escapees were apprehended in Burien.
The next day, the remaining four youths made their way down to Minnehaha in Clark County. At about 7:45 p.m. on May 29, deputies from the Clark County Sheriff’s Office responded near Walnut Grove Park to a report of a wanted person, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.
A family member of one of the escapees reported the four remaining youths were at their residence when the family member returned from the store, the release stated. They told the teens to leave before they called 911 and suspected the kids were still in the area on foot.
Information from the King County Sheriff’s Office stated the escapees were wanted for escape, kidnapping, carjacking and assault charges, the release stated. The teens, who ranged in age from 15 to 17 years old, had prior charges of murder, assault, robbery and firearms charges, according to King County.
Canvassing the area with unmarked vehicles, deputies from the Clark County Sheriff’s Office spotted the suspects near Northeast 76th Avenue and Northeast 61st Way, the release stated. Two drones and an aircraft were deployed to track the youths.
Sheriff’s deputies and officers from the Vancouver Police Department set up a containment area around an open field near Walnut Grove Elementary School, where the escapees were spotted, according to the release. The teens fled before a SWAT team arrived to assist. Three of the four ran south and were taken into custody. The fourth youth made their way back to near the family member’s residence, where he was apprehended.
All seven of the escapees are in custody in King County, KIRO News reported on June 1.