Police this morning surrounded a home near where a prisoner
escaped, after a concerned resident heard bumps in her
Senior Sergeant Dave Scott, of Dunedin, confirmed a search of
the Milburn property failed to find any trace of Stephen
Uriah Maddren (25), who escaped from the nearby Otago
Corrections Facility on Tuesday.
Dogs were also searching near the property as a precaution.
Residents were ''understandably on edge'' with the prisoner
still at large, he said.
Police fear for the safety of Maddren (25), who fled from the
Otago Corrections Facility with no shoes and wearing only
track pants and a top.
Maddren, who has previously escaped custody, fled from the
prison after he was transferred after his remand hearing in
the Dunedin District Court.
Police spent yesterday searching a forestry block near the
prison where Maddren was seen on Tuesday night.
There were growing concerns for Maddren's safety, but police
hoped to find him alive.
Temperatures ranged between -4degC and -1degC on Tuesday
night and were forecast to be between 0degC and 2degC last
night, a MetService spokeswoman said.
Although police did not consider him a danger to the public,
people should not approach him but instead call police on 111
if he is sighted.
Anyone with information on his whereabouts should call the
Dunedin police on (03) 471-4800. Information can also be
provided, anonymously, to the organisation Crimestoppers on
More details emerged yesterday about Maddren's escape.
The Department of Corrections remained tight-lipped about why
Maddren, who appeared in court in 2010 on charges of escaping
custody, was transferred from court without restraints on
Labour corrections spokeswoman Jacinda Ardern questioned
Corrections Minister Anne Tolley at a law and order select
committee meeting yesterday about the circumstances which led
to his escape.
After the meeting, Ms Ardern told the Otago Daily Times she
was told Maddren escaped from custody by climbing up a
downpipe on to a prison roof and jumping from a height of two
or three storeys to the other side.
He was not in handcuffs at the time of his escape, she said.
Mrs Tolley and Department of Corrections chief executive Ray
Smith did not deny Ms Ardern's claims.
The ODT understands Maddren was one of several prisoners
being transferred from the court and was accompanied by one
or two escorts.
Department of Corrections protocols state that remand
prisoners should escorted by ''generally two officers''.
In an emailed statement, Mrs Tolley said an investigation
into the incident would take place and ''uncover exactly what
''Such escapes are now extremely rare and I have questions
about why [audiovisual links] were not used, to prevent any
transport risks,'' she said.
A Department of Corrections spokeswoman said the department
could not comment on the escape until the prisoner was found
as it could ''inadvertently impact on the police
LandSAR, police staff and three police dog handlers were
involved in the search yesterday.
Maddren is Caucasian, 171cm tall, and has a brown or black
mullet-type hairstyle and no teeth. He was last seen wearing
green track pants and a green top.
- Hamish McNeilly and Timothy Brown