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Police locate woman they say escaped from Hiland Mountain Correctional Center

Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 10:57 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Anchorage Police Department says it has located the woman they say “walked away” from the Hiland Mountain Correctional Center.

Police say they followed a tip that 36-year-old Lori. A. Declusin was at Buffalo Wild Wings in Midtown. Whey police got to the bar and grill, they saw Declusin in a vehicle in the parking lot with a man. Police say she then ran from them only to be caught later.

At the time she gave the officer a false name but officers were able to positively ID her as the woman who escaped the Department of Corrections’ Eagle River facility.

Police also arrested the man she was with. He is identified as 36-year-old Daniel Willey. He faces charges including vehicle theft and burglary.

The search for Declusin started Wednesday according to an APD Nixle. The alert described Declusin as being 5 feet, 6 inches tall with red hair and blue eyes, and urged the public to contact the non-emergency police dispatch line with information on her whereabouts.

The alert did not include the time and date of the incident, but court records show Declusin has been at large for multiple days.

APD says she was in custody at Hiland Mountain Correctional Center for an alleged violation of a protection order and tricked corrections staff into releasing her Sunday evening by using her cellmate’s name, according to charging documents.

According to a criminal complaint written by an APD officer, at 7:45 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 10, Declusin pretended to be a woman named Brittany Palmer, who was scheduled to be released that evening. Delcusin allegedly signed several release forms using Palmer’s name and was allowed to leave.

“Once the escape was discovered officers searched the area but were unable to locate her,” the officer wrote.

Alaska’s News Source received a tip about the escape and sent inquiries to APD and the Alaska State Troopers Tuesday evening, 48 hours after Declusin disappeared.

Alaska’s News Source has asked both APD and DOC about the delay in notifying the public. Both agencies declined requests for on-camera interviews but sent emailed responses.

“It is DOC’s policy to notify local law enforcement of the escape. Because of the circumstances of the incident, this situation was originally reported to APD as an erroneous release. It was reclassified as an escape following review of the incident,” DOC Spokesperson Sarah Gallagher wrote in an email.

Gallagher said the department is reviewing its policies and procedures and conducting an investigation into the escape incident.

In a statement, APD confirmed the department was notified Sunday to assist in the search for Declusin and a warrant for her arrest was filed on Monday.

“Generally the Anchorage Police Department (APD) notifies the public as soon as possible when an escape occurs from a DOC facility, however due to a missed internal notification this did not occur until Wednesday. APD is using this as an opportunity to improve our internal processes,” MJ Thim, APD Director of Community Relations, wrote in an email.

According to APD, Delcusin was most recently convicted of Violating a Stalking Order. She now faces a felony escape charge.

Following her arrest Thursday, she is also facing multiple charges including resisting arrest and violations of condition of release

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to include information about the arrest of Declusin and Daniel Willey.

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