Robert Crissman, a 38-year-old man who was serving a light sentence for a probation violation related to a drug charge, is now the prime suspect in a murder that occurred after his escape. The escaped inmate allegedly killed a woman just hours after he fled the Armstrong County jail in Pennsylvania, CBS News reports.
Robert Crissman, who had been in the county jail since July 23 for violating his parole, was helping deliver meals to the inmates Thursday morning when he just simply “walked away” to the nearby house of a friend.
The man living in the house went to work, and when he returned later, he found his girlfriend, Tammy Long, 55, dead in the bathroom.
“They were familiar to the point where he was allowed in voluntarily,” Armstrong County District Attorney Scott Andreassi said.
Citing statements from police, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the escaped inmate brutally beat his friend’s girlfriend with a ceramic toilet lid then strangled her with a string. The beating was so severe that the lid was left shattered in pieces.
The murder was especially shocking because Crissman has a long history of drug and theft, but not violence.
“I was very shocked,” said Frank Lagoni, Crissman’s former boss. “He’s been hollered at. Never reacted to being hollered at. Don’t know how he snapped like that.”
According to a report from CBS Pittsburgh, the local news station, Crissman was captured and taken into custody around 8:40 a.m. Friday in Boggs Township after a 26-hour manhunt. During his brief time as a free man, he allegedly stole two vehicles, a gun, and committed a violent murder. Crissman is now charged with murder; theft of a gun, two trucks and a TV set; and aggravated assault on a police officer.
The search for Crissman intensified when witnesses called 911 reporting that they saw a vehicle matching the description of one that the escaped inmate was said to have stolen. Police then received a call from a frantic woman saying that Crissman had knocked on her door. She immediately recognized that he was the escaped inmate and she told him to “hold on a minute and that’s when she was able to shut the door and lock it, and that’s when she was able to call 911,” the report states.
[Image via YouTube screenshot]