One fugitive is a violent felon who stabbed a young mother to death and was found incompetent to stand trial. His checkered past includes a stint in federal prison for threatening to blow up a government building in Spokane.
The other escapee was receiving mental health treatment after a second-degree domestic violence assault arrest in 2014.
On Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., both men—patients at Washington state’s largest psychiatric facility—were reported missing and dangerous.
Anthony Garver, 28, and Mark Alexander Adams, 59, were last seen in the dining hall of Western State Hospital in Lakewood, just outside of Tacoma, at 6 p.m. Authorities believe they escaped through a loose window in their room, KIRO 7 reported.
“They got a considerable head start … so all we can really do is let the investigators do some follow-up to try and find them,” said Lakewood Police Department Lt. Chris Lawler, according to KIRO.
The frightening pair fled a hospital that’s already in federal crosshairs over chronic understaffing and a host of other violations, including the failure to monitor restrained patients. Federal auditors threatened to pull Medicaid funding from Western State Hospital four times last year, the Seattle Times revealed.
Indeed, nearly 300 jobs are unfilled at the 800-bed hospital that’s funded for 1,800 employees, the Times reported.
Authorities nabbed Adams on Thursday morning near a church in Des Moines, Washington, after a woman outside the holy house recognized him.
Garver is still on the loose.
So far, the only other sighting of the duo comes from a Pierce Transit bus driver, who believes he picked up Garver around 6 p.m. The escapee may have gotten off the bus at Lakewood Towne Center Transit Center, KIRO reported.
The driver picked up a passenger who looks like Adams near the Steilacoom Ferry dock around 7:45 p.m. and dropped him off at the same transit depot. Adams was interested in taking a bus to Sea-Tac Airport, according to KIRO.
Police described Garver as white, about 5 foot 8, and 250 pounds with long curly brown hair and a beard or mustache. He was last seen in a brown faded sweatshirt and orange jail flip-flops. He also goes by the last name of Burke or employs the alias Deryk Garver, cops said.
Garver had been at Western State since he allegedly murdered 20-year-old mom Phillipa Evans-Lopez in June 2013.
According to police, Garver tied Evans-Lopez to her bed with electrical cords before stabbing her two dozen times and slashing her throat. The woman had a 3-year-old boy.
Authorities nabbed Garver at an Everett McDonald’s in July, about two weeks after the victim’s body was discovered. Police found him with a knife splattered in the victim’s blood and a laptop missing from the woman’s Lake Stevens home, the Everett Herald reported.
A witness told cops Evans-Lopez had met her killer at an Everett McDonald’s—the same one where he met his alleged victim—and video footage showed they both dined there but not together, according to the Herald.
They later appeared to accompany each other to another McDonald’s in Lake Stevens, surveillance cameras revealed. The body of Evans-Lopez was discovered June 17, 2013, in her Lake Stevens rental home.
Two years later, Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Matt Hunter was forced to drop Garver’s first-degree murder charge after doctors concluded Garver was too delusional to assist his lawyer, the Herald reported. Authorities said Garver had schizophrenia.
Garver was “delusional and paranoid” and claimed “he’s living in a parallel universe,” according to the Herald’s review of court papers.
Doctors reported he made no progress and that they were doubtful any treatment could improve his “delusional beliefs and psychotic symptoms.”
He was allegedly squatting in a vacant house and wanted by state and federal authorities at the time of Evans-Lopez’s murder.
Friends and family of Evans-Lopez were heartbroken over Garver’s assignment to a psychiatric ward rather than jail time.
“Yes obviously he is fucked as all hell, but he had the mental capability to somehow trick her into helping him, he managed to get her to go with him from McDonalds to a house where he had the mental capacity to BIND HER before he TORTURED her,” the friend wrote on Facebook.
“You stole an angel from Earth, a mom, a friend, a beautiful amazing girl,” she continued. “I loved being around her, her aura was so bright and uplifting. And you, the man who put out that light: PAIN IS COMING FOR YOU, MOTHERFUCKER.”
Garver was on the lam during the June 2013 killing. Police say he failed to report to his Spokane probation officer three months before. The alleged killer was fresh out prison after serving time for threatening to blow up a government building, according to the Herald.
Court papers alleged Garver was an anti-government survivalist with a “history of military style weapons and explosives, and he has threatened to shoot anyone who confronts him,” the Herald revealed.
Authorities claimed Garver also studied al Qaeda training manuals and said he had ties to domestic terrorism and anarchist groups, the Herald reported.
“Anthony has wanted to create explosive devices in the past using fertilizer and has aspired to emulate Timothy McVeigh,” an officer testified in probable-cause papers, referring to the Oklahoma City bomber, the Seattle Times reported.
In 2010, Garver went by the name Anthony Burke and led Montana authorities on a wild freeway chase that ended when he jumped in a creek, according the Spokesman-Review. Burker had fled a halfway house, after serving three years in federal prison for possession of 100 rounds of Russian ammunition.
The Spokesman-Review reported Burke was prohibited from having the bullets because he’d been committed to a mental hospital as a teen.
Garver’s escape angered friends of Evans-Lopez.
On Thursday, one friend wrote on Facebook, “[Garver] killed my friend Phillipa Evans-lopez. He is a very dangerous man!!! He tied her up with cords and stabbed her to death and he didn't even know her.”
“She was young and beautiful and had a son!!!” the pal continued. “If you see him call 911.”