OKANOGAN — An inmate at the Okanogan County Corrections Center who told deputies in June that he wanted to get arrested because he had no place to go apparently changed his mind on Tuesday.
Nathaniel D. Smallbeck, 18, escaped from custody at about 10:30 a.m. while working with a crew of inmate trustees at the Okanogan County Fairgrounds, said Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers.
Smallbeck is a contract inmate for Douglas County. He is still missing and wanted by police for escape.
Rogers said Smallbeck was working with a half-dozen other inmates preparing the grounds for the fair when he slipped away.
He left behind his black-and-white striped shirt, and went across the railroad tracks and toward the Okanogan River, apparently traveling through heavy brush, Rogers said.
He said deputies searched the area all day, and a U.S. Border Patrol helicopter joined the search but were unable to locate him.
Smallbeck was arrested June 30 by Douglas County Sheriff’s deputies on suspicion of residential burglary for breaking into an Orondo residence in the 10 block of Orchard Drive.
When a deputy found him in a closet inside the residence, Smallbeck said he was homeless, and he wanted to get arrested because he had nowhere to go.