- (Photo: Courtesy Cook County Sheriff's Office)
A convicted murderer has been mistakenly released after a transfer from Indiana to Chicago; the man managed to avoid being taken into custody, leaving police scrambling to find him.
Steven Robbins, 44, was convicted of a murder in Indianapolis in 2002 and was serving time when the transfer occurred. He was supposed to be in a Chicago court on Tuesday morning to face a drug charge before being returned to Indiana, but something went awry and Illinois police released Robbins.
"For reasons yet unknown, the offender was released by Illinois authorities," the Indiana Department of Corrections said in a public statement. Police are still searching for Robbins and have asked for the public's help in bringing him back into custody.
"The sheriff has ordered an investigation into the facts and circumstances regarding his court appearance and release from custody," the Cook County Sheriff's Department said in a statement.
Both states have issued arrest warrants for Robbins and are working together to bring him back into custody. The earliest scheduled release date for Robbins was June 29, 2029, ABC reported. He was serving a 60-year sentence for the 2002 murder and could have been paroled, but the odds of that happening now that he has been released, and remains on the run, have diminished.
No information was released about the murder charge that landed Robbins in prison to begin with, but he was convicted and sentenced to 60 years. The drug charge in Illinois was dropped, possibly leading police to believe he should be released.
Police have issued a description of Robbins in the hope that someone will recognize him and turn him in. He has been missing since Tuesday morning, and every day that goes by lessens the likelihood of him being found or turning himself in.
Robbins is 5'5" and about 190 pounds; he has a tattoo on the right side of his neck that says "Nicole." Anyone with information is asked to call (708) 865-4915.