Monroe prison escapee may be hiding in East County

An inmate with three months left to serve on his sentence escaped from the minimum security unit at the Monroe Correctional Complex and is believed to be in East Grays Harbor County.

Corrections officers and Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s deputies are looking for Brandon Musto, 37, who turned up missing at the 9 p.m. Wednesday count at Monroe.

Grays Harbor Chief Criminal Deputy Steve Shumate said the Sheriff’s Department was notified that a McCleary resident might have aided in the escape. That man was taken into custody and a vehicle was impounded that is believed to have been used to transport Musto, who is still at large, Shumate said. Musto is a white man, 5-foot-8, 180 pounds with brown eyes and dark hair. He has tattoos on his right arm and left wrist.

At the minimum security unity, corrections officers said Musto apparently went over a fence, although officials are checking video as they investigate exactly how he got out and whether he had any help, spokesman Chad Lewis said. Musto began serving time in September 2011 for a vehicular assault conviction in Thurston County and was scheduled for release in February 2013. Shumate said he also was involved in multiple burglaries from Grays Harbor County.

Only offenders who are within four years of release are kept in the minimum security unit.

Minimum security is one of five units at the prison complex at Monroe, 24 miles northeast of Seattle. It holds about 460 of the 2,500 offenders in the state’s second-largest prison.