Two patients who were able to walk away from the North Texas State Hospital, causing a multi-county search Monday evening are now back at the facility.
The Wichita County Sheriff's Department, the Archer County Sheriff's Department and the Wichita Falls Police Department helped search for the patients into the early hours Tuesday morning. The two patients kicked out a window in their dorm room around 9 Monday night. They then climbed over a fence that surrounds the property and walked off the grounds on foot down Kemp Blvd.
The situation has hospital staff looking over procedures. Crystal Dennstedt, Chief Information Officer at NTSH commented, "We will look at everything that happened. We will look at the processes that we need to change or things we can do differently to avoid this in the future, even though its a very rare occasion, we still want to take a look at that and we will certainly be about the business."
Crystal Dennstedt also says the patients who got away slept in the same dorm room. She says they escaped after a routine room check done by staff members. That's when officials say the patients kicked out their dorm window and got away. Officials say staff 'heard a noise' and decided to do another head count and discovered the two were missing. The hospital then went through their standard procedures which requires the hospital to contact local law enforcement.
The North Texas State Hospital says their patients are not considered dangerous and that the community was not in any danger. The hospital see's more than 2,500 patients a year but says an incident like this is rare.
Officials say the patients called the hospital themselves saying they were ready to go back. Law enforcement picked them up at the Walmart off Lawrence Road and returned them to the State Hospital where they are now.
The North Texas State Hospital says their treatment team will evaluate the two patients to see if anything needs to change in their program.