Murder Suspect Found Stuck Up to His Armpits in Mud

Christopher Lee Pray, a 39-year-old suspect in an aggravated murder case, who had escaped from a psychiatric hospital in Oregon, was recaptured on Friday, according to Oregon State Police. Pray had been a patient at the Oregon State Hospital in Salem and was under custody before his escape on Wednesday.

In a surprising turn of events, emergency services were called to a scene on Friday morning following reports of a possible deceased body in a pond. Instead, they found a man stuck in mud up to his armpits, about 75 feet from solid ground. The man, who had been trapped in the muddy water in the northern part of the city near the Washington state line for approximately 12 hours, was rescued by Portland Fire & Rescue after an hour-long operation involving ropes and ladders.

Upon his rescue, the man was taken to a local hospital for evaluation. Initially, he provided a false name, but a vigilant hospital employee recognized him as Christopher Pray. The hospital staff alerted the Portland Police Bureau, who arrived and confirmed his identity.

The hospital in Portland is nearly an hour north of the facility Pray had escaped from on Wednesday. Weather data indicates that temperatures in the area had dropped to 60 degrees on Thursday evening into Friday, during which time Pray was stuck in the muddy water.

Details of Pray’s escape are still being investigated by the Oregon State Police, who plan to release more information next week.

At the time of his escape, Pray was fully restrained with leg shackles, a belly chain, handcuffs, and a restraint connecting all three together. He was wearing a white t-shirt, maroon sweatpants, and black rubber slippers. Pray, who is considered extremely dangerous, was in custody at the Multnomah County jail on several serious charges, including attempted aggravated murder, and had been transferred to the hospital on Wednesday.

Pray was able to escape after stealing a white 2016 Dodge Caravan and then eluded capture after a police chase. The pursuit by police was terminated due to safety concerns and Pray was not apprehended. The van that Pray stole has not yet been recovered.