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2 more Echo Glen escapees arrested, 2 still missing

The five juveniles reportedly assaulted employees and took the keys to a state-owned vehicle.

SNOQUALMIE, Wash. — Two more escapees from a juvenile detention center near Snoqualmie were arrested Thursday after police followed up on a tip.

One of the detainees was arrested in Kent, and another was arrested in Kirkland.

Another male who escaped from the Echo Glen Children's Center was arrested Thursday morning around 1:30 a.m., according to the King County Sheriff's Office.

Police are still searching for two escaped detainees. 

The five juveniles escaped from Echo Glen Children's Center, a medium/maximum security facility located near Interstate 90 and Snoqualmie Parkway, according to the Washington Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF), which oversees the facility.

KING 5 is no longer naming the 15-year-old since they are a minor and are now in custody. The 15-year-old was adjudicated of first-degree murder and unlawful possession of a firearm in 2021, according to the sheriff's office. The offense stemmed from a 2020 homicide in southwest King County, according to the sheriff's office.

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The King County Sheriff’s Office said the five males escaped at 7:45 a.m. Wednesday after assaulting employees and acquiring the keys of a state-owned 2018 gray Ford Fusion with Washington license plates 27545E. The juveniles' ages range from 14 to 17 years old.

The DYCF said police were contacted, and warrants were issued for the teens.

All other youths were accounted for, and the campus was secured, according to the DCYF.

The employees who were reportedly attacked suffered minor injuries.

The 15-year-old was adjudicated in the 2020 murder of a Burien man and later told people he shot the man because the victim was alone and he was depressed. The teen was 13 years old at the time, and the King County Prosecutor’s Office asked that he be held until age 21, the maximum allowed given his age at the time of the murder.

The KCSO said the four others were being held at the facility on charges such as firearms possession and possession of stolen property.

The facility is not fenced but is bordered by wetlands, and it provides treatment for younger male offenders and also houses young female offenders sentenced by the Department of Corrections.

Echo Glen has been the site of multiple escapes over the past decade, including a 2012 case involving six young people. The boys were ultimately found and taken back into custody. There was a 2019 escape of one teen, which prompted an aerial search, and in 2018, another escape involving two teens prompted a security review at the time.

Anyone with information regarding the escapees' whereabouts is asked to call 911.

The DCYF said it is conducting a critical incident review of the event.

'Inadequate funding' at Echo Glen

Washington Federation of State Employees/AFSCME Council 28, the union representing staff at Echo Glen, sent a statement on Wednesday, stating that injuries are a "regular occurrence" at understaffed state institutions: 

"The staff at Echo Glen provide security and a wide array of treatment services for youthful offenders, including counseling, education, and chemical dependency therapies. 

Although the injuries were reported as minor, the trauma resulting from today’s incident will likely impact staff and their families for years to come. 

While we do not yet know the full details of what occurred this morning, we do know that the failure to provide adequate training, staffing—and ultimately funding—is a recipe for disaster. 

WFSE members continue to call on policy makers to invest in state institutions. Passing the buck jeopardizes the safety of staff and the public we serve."

This is a developing story. Check back for updates. 

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