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Costa Rica police recapture Michigan fugitive

June 21, 2016

Costa Rican police captured Michigan fugitive John Wesley Saatio 48 hours after his Father’s Day escape from the temporary immigration detention center in Hatillo, San José.

He was found by a patrol in Los Guido, Desamparados, a canton immediately south of San José, according to a statement from the Public Security Ministry.

Saatio escaped during dinner Sunday through a ventilation duct at the detention center, according to acting Immigration Administration Director Gladys Jiménez. He had been detained in the immigration detention center for nearly three weeks.

Immigration spokeswoman Seidy Muñoz told The Tico Times that Saatio had applied for refugee status through Costa Rica’s immigration courts, which extended his stay in the detention center.

This was Saatio’s second escape from law enforcement in the last year. On June 19, 2015, Saatio successfully escaped from police in Houghton, Michigan as he was being returned to jail from a court appearance. After he was arrested in the Costa Rican beach town of Jacó on June 2, he again tried to escape policy custody but failed.

Saatio faces charges of home invasion, destruction of police property and probation violation, according to U.S. news reports.

This is a developing story. 

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