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Convicted killer captured after escape from Mission prison

Last Updated Apr 15, 2017 at 2:06 pm PDT

(photo courtesy Mission Institution)
Summary

53-year-old escapee was serving sentence for second-degree murder of teenager in 2001

Not the first escape by a prisoner in Mission.

MISSION (NEWS 1130) – A convicted murderer who escaped from a prison in Mission yesterday has been captured and is in custody.

53-year-old Robert Dezwaan was reported missing after an inmate count at the minimum security unit on Friday afternoon.

He was arrested by Fraser Valley RCMP around 11:15am today.

Dezwaan is serving a life sentence with no chance of parole for 15 years after being convicted of second degree murder. He was found guilty of strangling 16-year-old Cherish Oppenheim in Merrit, BC in 2001, and leaving her body in a wooded area.

The RCMP says staff are currently reviewing the circumstances of this incident and are focused on assisting the ongoing investigation. Police say they won’t be commenting further while the investigation is underway.

It’s not the first time a convicted murderer has escaped from Mission. In April 2015, Shawn Merrick was discovered unaccounted for during a minimum security prison count. In August 2014, federal inmate Norman Gilbert Riel escaped.