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Portage inmate still missing, charged with felony escape
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Portage inmate still missing, charged with felony escape

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An inmate who didn’t return to the Columbia County Jail from work release Dec. 9 remains missing and is now charged with felony escape.

Marcos Antonio Avila, 24, was supposed to return to jail from Penda Corporation at 7 a.m. that day, Sheriff Roger Brandner said. Avila had been serving a 180-day Huber sentence on charges of domestic disorderly conduct, battery to police officers, resisting/obstructing an officer and felony bail jumping,

He faces up to six years in prison for felony escape.

The criminal complaint states that Avila’s supervisor at Penda smelled alcohol on him Dec. 8, to which Avila said he had been drinking and would not pass a breathalyzer test. Avila was then suspended from work and sent, by cab, to Divine Savior hospital for a drug test.

The hospital told jail staff that Avila never registered there for a test.

As of Dec. 24, law enforcement had not yet located Ailva and court proceedings have not yet been scheduled for him.

Capt. James Stilson said the department is actively pursuing Avila in what amounts to a fairly uncommon case.

“Most folks with a Huber sentence have a release date and want to get done as soon as possible,” Stilson said.

“But on occasion someone will decide they don’t want to come back to jail, even though it is definitely in their best interest to return.”

Avila’s last reported address is 1025 W. Wisconsin St. in Portage.

The state Department of Corrections’ online “offender locater” feature describes Avila as being 6 feet tall and 190 pounds with brown eyes and black hair.

Anyone who has seen or is aware of Avila’s whereabouts should contact the sheriff’s office at 608-742-4166.

Follow Noah Vernau on Twitter @NoahVernau or contact him at 608-695-4956.

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