Returned to sender

MILTON, Fla. – John Saatio’s latest escape was short-lived.

Saatio, 35, was recaptured Sunday night by police in Florida, a day after he escaped from a transport van at a rest stop on I-10 in Santa Rosa County, located at the western end of the Florida panhandle.

The Arkansas-based Inmate Services Corporation was transporting Saatio back to Houghton County, where he had escaped in June 2015 while being escorted back to the jail from a court hearing.

On Sunday a resident on Antietam Road in the county seat of Milton reported seeing a suspicious person in a wooded area who matched Saatio’s description, according to a release from the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies brought a K-9 unit to the location. They soon followed a track through a large field and through several small creeks. Additional K-9 units were called in from the Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Century correctional institutes. K-9 units continued to track Saatio south for about two miles where he was quickly approaching Yellow River, according to the release. About four hours later, police apprehended him in a thicket off of Elvis Presley Road, his arrest report said.

Saatio was found with a tarp reported stolen from a nearby home earlier that day. He also had a hammer, jug and pair of wire-cutters, which he had used to cut the fence next to the pasture in which he was found, the arrest report said.

When officers searched Saatio at the jail, they found two makeshift handcuff keys in one of his socks. Saatio said he had used the locks to pick his handcuffs and belly chain Saturday evening, the report said.

Saatio had been taken from the Harris County Jail in Houston, where he came after being extradited from Costa Rica, where he had spent several months before his initial capture in June at a nightclub in the town of Jaco. After escaping from an immigration detention center there, he was recaptured in Los Guido, Desamparados, a suburb of San Jose.

Saatio originally escaped from custody in Houghton in June 2015 while being escorted back from the county jail after a court hearing. He was charged with home invasion, destruction of police property and probation violation. He is on probation for attempted failure to register as a sex offender.

Saatio was taken to the Santa Rosa County Jail, where he is being held under close watch. Saatio was charged with second-degree escape and third-degree unlawful possession of a concealed handcuff key. He is being held with no bond pending his first court appearance.


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