Fourth Echo Glen inmate arrested as county files felony charges stemming from escape

Feb 2, 2022, 7:00 AM | Updated: 8:37 am
Echo Glen...
A sign outside Echo Glen Children's Center in Snoqualmie. (KIRO 7 TV)

Law enforcement has apprehended the fourth out of five escaped inmates from Snoqualmie’s Echo Glen Children’s Center.

A group of five male inmates between the ages of 14 and 17 escaped from the juvenile detention center last Wednesday. One was found and taken back into custody without incident in South King County the following day, having previously been convicted in 2021 for first-degree murder and unlawful possession of a firearm. Later that day, a second escapee was detained by Kent police in East Hill. A third inmate was arrested near the Totem Lake area of Kirkland.

The fourth inmate was taken into custody by Kent police in East Hill on Tuesday afternoon.

Felony charges filed by the King County Prosecutor’s Office this week against four of the inmates detailed how the group had staged the escape by threatening staff members with a knife, cutting one of them on the hand, and then taking their car keys, wallet, cell phone, “and other personal belongings,” before fleeing in a facility-owned vehicle. Charges include unlawful imprisonment, first-degree kidnapping, first-degree robbery, and theft of a motor vehicle.

The inmate arrested Tuesday will soon be added to those charges as well. A fifth inmate remains at-large.

Echo Glen is classified as a “medium/maximum security facility,” although its staff members are not armed, and it is not surrounded by fencing. It provides treatment for both younger male and female offenders who have committed felony-level crimes. That includes assault, murder, arson, and burglary.

A 2018 report indicated that nearly 85% of Echo Glen’s 33 employees agreed that the facility was not adequately staffed “to a level that enables us to be successful.” Among the report’s key findings was that rehabilitation counselors, due to lack of staff, were forced to portion most of their time towards supervision and security tasks, unable to provide “core residential treatment” therapy.

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Fourth Echo Glen inmate arrested as county files felony charges stemming from escape