Update (12:35 p.m. Friday): Oregon State Police announced Friday that Christopher Pray was captured in Portland and is back in custody.
Law enforcement agencies are trying to locate an “extremely dangerous man” who escaped from custody in Salem on Wednesday night, according to Oregon State Police.
Christopher Lee Pray, 39, was jailed on several charges, including attempted aggravated murder. He was transferred to the Oregon State Hospital on Wednesday and escaped custody around 10:45 p.m.
According to State Hospital spokesperson Amber Shoebridge, Pray had “an altercation with another patient” shortly after he was admitted and needed to be taken to a local emergency department. When he was brought back to the State Hospital that night, Pray was “able to gain control of the van and drive away.” Officials did not disclose how Pray took control of the van. They also did not say why the public was not alerted until 12 hours after Pray escaped.
Police said he stole a white, unmarked Dodge Caravan similar to the one pictured below, and was last seen headed south on Interstate 5. The van he was in has no identifying marks but bears Oregon license plate No. E265614. Police began a pursuit, but said they stopped it due to safety concerns.
Police noted that although Pray was headed south when they stopped chasing him, he has ties to the Portland area.
Pray was wearing restraints when he escaped Wednesday, including handcuffs and leg shackles. He is 6 feet tall, 170 pounds, with brown eyes and hair, and has the word ‘Pray’ tattooed on his right arm. He was wearing a white shirt, sweatpants and rubber slippers.
Anyone who sees Pray or the vehicle is asked to call 911 immediately.
Court records show Pray attempted to flee police in criminal cases in June and August of 2022.
The case connected to his attempted murder charge took place March 12, 2022. Pray is accused of using a gun to rob and nearly kill a woman in Multnomah County while robbing her. In charging documents, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office noted that Pray was a felon who could not legally own a firearm. He also faces charges for a June 4, 2022 incident when he allegedly assaulted his domestic partner with a tool and drove recklessly.