Missing pair arrested in Las Vegas

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

A state mental patient with ties to Eureka Springs who left the Arkansas State Hospital in Little Rock last week has been arrested in Nevada, along with a psychological examiner at the hospital who apparently escorted him out of the facility.

According to a release from Perry L. Wyse, chief of the Arkansas State Hospital Police, Cory Chapin and Michelle Messer were taken into custody without incident Monday morning at a home in North Las Vegas, Nev.

“The Arkansas State Hospital Police tracked Messer and Chapin to Las Vegas,” Wyse says in the release. He goes on to say that the two were taken into custody about 8 a.m. Pacific time by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

Both Chapin and Messer were being held Monday afternoon in the Clark County (Nev.) Detention Center. Messer, who has been fired from her job, faces a misdemeanor charge of aiding an unauthorized departure of state hospital patient and a felony charge of providing prohibited articles to a patient.

Chapin, who was being held at the state hospital as part of a conditional release program for individuals who are found not guilty due to mental disease or defect, will return to the facility as part of the conditional release program, Wyse’s press release says.

Chapin, who is now 46, was arrested in April 2014 after he allegedly told law enforcement officers that God instructed him to kidnap a Eureka Springs woman, “have sex with her and make her listen to his story.”

Chapin was originally stopped at Lake Leatherwood City Park on April 25, 2014, on suspicion of vehicle theft after his father reported that Chapin had taken his car as well as some prescriptions, a debit card and cash.

Chapin reportedly told the Arkansas State Police trooper who arrested him that he had “just stopped a kidnapping.” A search of the vehicle he was driving turned up handcuffs, machetes and a plastic handgun with the red barrel painted black, according to police.

In February 2015, Carroll County Circuit Judge Scott Jackson issued an order declaring Chapin unfit to stand trial based on the results of a mental evaluation.

In an affidavit released last week, Wyse writes that he confronted Messer on the morning of Tuesday, March 20, he confronted Messer about contraband in Chapin’s possession. Wyse writes that Messer denied furnishing the items to Chapin. After being told to wait in her office for her supervisor, Messer instead waited in the hallway for Chapin to walk by, then escorted him out of the building, according to Wyse’s affidavit.

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