Monroe prison escapee nabbed — cold and wet

NORTH BEND — An escapee from the prison at Monroe was captured cold, wet and tired Sunday evening, four days after he broke out of his minimum security unit.

King County deputies caught up with Brandon Musto, 37, in the Rattlesnake Ridge area near North Bend.

“We took him into custody without incident,” King County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Cindi West said Sunday night.

Musto was taken to a hospital to be evaluated for possible hypothermia.

Monroe police will transfer Musto to the Snohomish County Jail where he will likely face a felony charge for escape, which could result in a new prison sentence, state Department of Corrections spokesman Chad Lewis said.

Musto was finishing a sentence for a vehicular assault conviction out of Thurston County. Sometime Wednesday evening, he cleared a razorwire-topped fence at the minimum-security unit and got into a car.

Police tracked him to the North Bend area Friday.

A 59-year-old man from McCleary was arrested in Grays Harbor County on Thursday morning for allegedly helping with the escape. The man was being held Friday at the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of criminal conspiracy.

Deputies received a critical tip from a hiker Sunday.

The man met the suspect on a trail around 2:45 p.m. but didn’t know who he was, West said.

Musto reportedly asked the hiker if he could borrow his cellphone to call his mother.

The hiker let him use his phone. He noticed Musto was soaking wet.

A noise startled Musto and he ran off into the woods.

When the hiker got home, he realized that the man he encountered was likely the escaped prison inmate.

He called 911.

Deputies were able to review the man’s phone records and discovered that a call had been made to Musto’s mother.

The hiker met up with deputies and showed them where he met Musto.

From there, Avo, a German shepherd police dog. and it’s deputy handler tracked down Musto in about 30 to 45 minutes, West said.

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