|MICHELLE MESSER, A DHS/ASH PSYCHOLOGIST TOOK OFF WITH PATIENT/INMATE CORY CHAPIN|
Authorities launched a dragnet Wednesday for a psychologist and patient who walked out of the Arkansas State Hospital without permission earlier this week.
Arrests warrants were issued for Michelle Messer, 41, a psychological examiner and Cory Chapin, 46, a patient.
Messer was spotted on surveillance video Tuesday using her access to the hospital’s forensic unit and walking Chapin out of the building, police said.
Messer is wanted on a misdemeanor charge of aiding an unauthorized departure. DHS mouthpiece Marci Manley said Messer will be fired once located.
Police referred to Messer as a psychologist, though the hospital’s website named her as a psychological examiner for forensics.
It’s unclear what the relationship is between Messer and Chapin. Several news sources have reported that she is a lesbian.
Chapin was acquitted in 2015 of kidnapping, theft, unauthorized use of a vehicle and drug possession charges by reason of mental illness or defect. He had told authorities God said to kidnap a woman who cut his hair.
Chapin was committed to the hospital’s forensic unit, used to assess and treat patients with mental illnesses who are accused of a crime. A doctor said he posted as a “moderate risk” for violence without treatment.
But by February 2016, the 46-year-old had engineered an escape. Chapin fled Arkansas after receiving a 48-hour pass to leave with his father. He was found in Las Vegas last year and returned to the hospital in November.
While on the run in Las Vegas, Chapin was extremely active on Facebook. Click here to view his page.
Chapin posted a lot of rambling long videos.
Here is a brief example.
Patients from the Arkansas State Hospital shed some light on the relationship between Messer and Chapin in phone calls to the Arkansas Times.
Several news outlets, including the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, have reported that Chapin had been provided contraband — including a cell phone and vaping device — and that Messer, had been questioned about it.
According to an affidavit from the hospital police chief, Messer denied knowledge of the phone and vaping device. She was told not to have contact with Chapin and instructed to go to her office. Instead she went to a unit of the hospital where Chapin was held and opened a door for him to leave with her when he walked by, according to the Democrat-Gazette account of the affidavit.
Stay Tuned for updates.