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Security Tightened at Creedmoor Psych Facility After Killer Escapes

By Aidan Gardiner | February 19, 2014 7:25am
 Creedmoor added new security measuers after convicted killer Raymond Morillo escaped, officials said.
Creedmoor added new security measuers after convicted killer Raymond Morillo escaped, officials said.
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Office of Mental Health and the Memphis Police Department

QUEENS — A Queens Village psychiatric facility has boosted security measures after a convicted killer was able to waltz out the door, officials said.

Raymond Morillo, 33, was just days away from his release date, serving time for a 1999 manslaughter conviction, when he was able to pass through Creedmoor Psychiatric Center's locked buzzer system on Jan. 28 by flashing a friend's visitor's pass, prosecutors said.

The new security measures "add a separate and distinct layer of verification apart from the identification passes provided at entrances," said Benjamin Rosen, a spokesman for the state's Office of Mental Health, which oversees the facility.

Rosen would not give more details about the new procedures, citing security concerns.

Morillo was convicted of manslaughter in 1999 and served a 14-year sentence at Marcy Correctional Facility. There, psychiatrists prescribed an additional 60-day monitoring period at Creedmoor starting Dec. 2, according to prosecutors and prison records. Officials can extend their subject's observation period, but it was not clear if they extended Morillo's, and the OMH spokesman declined to comment.

The psych center break began when Morillo's girlfriend, Victoria Ramirez, and another friend, Ronal Pacheco, visited the convicted killer just four days before his scheduled release, prosecutors said.

Pacheco handed his friend his scarf and ID pass, and Morillo, who police said has a teardrop tattoo under his left eye, then walked out with Ramirez, prosecutors said.

Pacheco then told a guard that he had misplaced his pass and was issued a new one, prosecutors said.

Ramirez and Pacheco were arrested in Queens just hours after the escape, court records show.

Investigators tracked Morillo's cellphone to Tennessee and alerted police there, who found him at a Greyhound station the next day, sources said.

Morillo was convicted of manslaughter in 1999 for his involvement in a fatal shooting, according to records provided by the NYS Department of Correction.

He was previously convicted of assault in 1999 for slashing two men with a razor blade on an Astoria subway platform.

According to the Queens DA’s office, Morillo, who lived in Corona and was 18 at the time, and his friend Ricardo Munquia followed two men to the platform of the N train in Astoria in January 1998, after one of the victims had an argument with Munquia's brother.

The men were waiting for the train with two women and another man when Morillo and Munquia approached them from behind and slashed both of them with razor blades from the bottom of the ear, across their cheeks and to the lip, disfiguring them permanently, according to the DA's office.

Before they fled the scene, Morillo shouted "La Familia," the name of a Latin street gang, prosecutors said.

He was due in court in Tennessee on Tuesday to determine if he would be extradited back to New York.

Officials at OMH are still investigating the incident, a spokesman said.