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Handcuffed suspect drowns after escaping deputies near Terre Haute

Vigo County deputies came across 32-year-old Richard Patterson in a stolen car on June 12 and arrested him.
Credit: Adobe Stock/vmargineanu

VIGO COUNTY, Ind. — Indiana State Police said the body of a man found in Vigo County June 19 was a suspect that had escaped police. 

The coroner determined 32-year-old Richard M. Patterson had drowned.

The incident began June 12 when Vigo County Sheriff's deputies were called about a disabled car on Riley Road. Deputies came across Patterson and learned the car had been reported stolen.

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When police checked the car, they found items alleged to have been stolen from a nearby home.

Deputies arrested Patterson, handcuffed him and put him in the back of a patrol car. While deputies were collecting evidence, police say Patterson escaped from the patrol car and ran while still handcuffed.

The Vigo County Sheriff’s Department along with help from Terre Haute Police K-9s searched the area, but they couldn't find Patterson.

Then on June 19, a person called 911 after spotting Patterson's body. Emergency crews recovered the body from the water and the coroner confirmed Monday it was Patterson.