SALEM, OR - On Wednesday, August 30, 2023, at approximately 10:45 P.M., the Oregon State Police responded to the Oregon State Hospital, located at 2600 Center St NE, Salem, for the report of a vehicle stolen by a patient of the hospital. The patient, later identified as Christopher Lee Pray, fled in a state owned Dodge Caravan in an unknown direction, according to the initial reports.
Troopers began attempting to locate the vehicle while on their way to the Oregon State Hospital, with the first Trooper arriving on scene at approximately 11:05 P.M. The Trooper began assessing the scene and reporting to mobile units. The Trooper at the scene indicated the suspect was wanted for the Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle (UUMV) and Escape.
The initial investigation revealed Pray had arrived at the State Hospital on August 30, at approximately 8:15 A.M. Pray was involved in a physical altercation in the cafeteria and subsequently transported to a local medical center for treatment of his injuries. Upon returning from the medical center, Pray was able to take control of the vehicle he was being transported in and flee from an unsecured area at the State Hospital.
At approximately 11:10 P.M., a Keizer Police unit located the vehicle and initiated a traffic stop. The vehicle, with Pray operating it, fled onto Interstate 5 southbound. The Keizer PD unit continued the pursuit southbound on Interstate 5 with OSP assisting, before transferring the pursuit to OSP. The known circumstances of the incident did not meet the pursuit policy of the Oregon State Police and the pursuit was terminated near the Santiam Rest Area.
OSP continued the investigation and learned the following morning, on Thursday, August 31, of Pray’s criminal history, OSH committal information, and his potential threat to the community. Investigators immediately began confirming the information and put out an alert to other agencies and a press release to alert the public.
On Friday, September 1, 2023, at approximately 8:17 A.M., Christopher Pray was located in a muddy pond, near the intersection of North Force Ave and North Victory Blvd, in Portland. Pray was rescued by Portland Fire and Rescue and transported to a Legacy Emmanuel Medical Center. Once at the hospital, medical personnel recognized Pray from the press release and reported his location to the Portland Police Bureau, who responded and took Pray into custody.
Pray is currently lodged in the Multnomah County Jail.
On Saturday, September 2, 2023, Portland Police Bureau located the stolen vehicle at the intersection of NE 19th Ave and NE Glisan St. The vehicle was recovered and towed from the scene.
This is an active criminal investigation and there is no further information available for release.