(BALTIMORE) — A manhunt is underway for a murder suspect who was mistakenly released from a Baltimore detention center and even the suspect’s mother wants him back in prison.
Rodriquez Purnell, 30, remains on the loose after he was accidentally allowed to walk free from Maryland Reception, Diagnostic and Classification Center on Friday.
Purnell has been in and out of jail for drugs and robbery over the years, but he was recently incarcerated on a first-degree murder charge, accused of fatally shooting T.J. Rheubottom, 27, last year.
Purnell was in custody waiting to be retried for Rheubottom’s murder after his first trial ended in a hung jury, but after corrections officers confused his current case with old charges, they let him go. Authorities didn’t realize the mistake until two days later when the victim’s family said they called the jail after Purnell was spotted hanging out in the neighborhood.
He has not been seen since.
The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Corrections said in a statement Wednesday that it placed an employee on paid administrative leave for mistakenly releasing Purnell.
“Preliminary results indicate a lapse in release procedures that would otherwise have identified the pending charges at the time of release,” the release said.
The situation remains under investigation, with officials trying to find out whether any procedures need to be changed.
Rheubottom’s mother, Jackie Davis, is stunned by Purnell’s accidental release and worries for the safety of her family and witnesses in the murder case.
“I believe that he is very dangerous and he needs to be off the streets today,” Davis told ABC News. “This should have never happened.”
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