Prisoner Escapes from Southeast Missouri Mental Health Center

JULY 23, 2004 - Posted at 7:36 a.m. CDT

FARMINGTON, MO - Authorities are searching for a prisoner who escaped from the Southeast Missouri Mental Health Center in the eastern Missouri town of Farmington.

Marcus Engesser was in a yard of the mental health center for a fresh air break when he escaped early Thursday.

Engesser was originally convicted in 2001 in St. Joseph and sentenced to four years in prison for felonious restraint.  He was imprisoned at the Farmington Correctional Center.  While there, he was accused of assaulting two correctional officers.

A judge ruled Engesser unfit to stand trial and ordered psychiatric evaluations.

The search is focusing on a wooded area near the center.

The escape was the second in about a month at the center.  The other escapee was later recaptured.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)