SPOKANE, Wash. -- Police statewide are on the hunt for 28-year-old murder suspect Anthony Garver, who escaped from Western State Hospital in Lakewood on Wednesday night and showed up at his parents' home in Spokane Thursday before fleeing again.
He is still believed to be in the Spokane area, the sheriff's office said Thursday night.
Lakewood Police said surveillance video showed that Garver, after escaping from Western State Hospital, bought a Greyhound Bus ticket in Seattle at about 8 p.m. Wednesday for Spokane.
The Spokane County Sheriff's Office said Garver arrived on a bus in Spokane about 5 a.m. Thursday and showed up at his parents' home around 3:30 p.m. Thursday. Garver's mother called 911 when she saw him, the sheriff's office said.
The sheriff's office said deputies launched a search in a wooded area of Spokane's East Valley with U.S. marshals, a SWAT team, four K-9s and two helicopters to try to find Garver, who is accused of torturing and killing a woman he met in Lake Stevens in 2013.
The sheriff's office said at about 8:30 p.m. Thursday that they hadn't located Garver and the search was being suspended for the night.
"Search teams contacted homeowners in the area, cleared buildings and searched the heavily wooded and rugged area," the sheriff's said in a statement issued Thursday night. "Garver was not located but is believed to still be in the area.
"The Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Marshals will have increased patrols throughout the evening. Garver is considered armed and dangerous and anyone who sees him should not approach and call 911 immediately," the sheriff's office added.
The Spokesman-Review reported that police received information previously that Garver may have hidden a cache of weapons in the area.
Lakewood Police said Garver escaped from Western State Hospital, where he had been committed since February 2015, with some cash but he didn’t have his identification. Investigators believe he boarded the bus in Seattle using the fake name of John Anderson.
Investigators said Garver, and 58-year-old Mark Adams, escaped the mental hospital together between 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. Both had been housed in the locked civil ward and may have escaped through a window inside their room. Police caught Adams outside the Des Moines Gospel Church on Thursday morning; eyewitnesses said he didn’t put up a fight.
Garver is accused of a gruesome murder. Prosecutors say he tied 20-year-old Phillipa Evans-Lopez to a bed three years ago in a home in Lake Stevens and stabbed her more than a dozen times. He had only met her for the first time hours before.
Now the victim’s mother, Kris Evans, said she is reliving the pain all over again after learning the news of his escape.
“He’s been on the run before,” she said. “This is the third or fourth time on the run and he’s a survivalist.”
Both Garver and Adams shared a room with two other mental patients at Western State Hospital. Investigators believe the patients had been loosening bolts on the locked window for several months before escaping.
Evans places blame solely on Western State Hospital.
“If they’re going to be trusted with this job, then they need to take it seriously and take responsibility,” she said.
Gov. Jay Inslee pledged to find out how anyone could have escaped a secure room.
“We have an investigation that’s going on at the hospital to understand the circumstances of this,” he said.
Hospital officials sent a statement pledging to learn how to prevent any other escapes.
“The hospital is undergoing a complete safety review and plan to bring in outside experts to go through our facility,” said Carla Reyes, of the Washington Department of Social and Health Services.
But now Evans has to relive her nightmare, knowing that the man charged with killing her daughter is roaming the streets.
“I hope that the cost of fixing that window doesn’t cost somebody else their life,” she said.
Wednesday’s incident wasn’t the first time someone escaped from Western State; another patient got away through a gymnasium door in 2011, but he was later caught.
Police warned people not to approach Garver, calling him dangerous, and asked the public to call 911.