MEDFORD, Ore. — An inmate of the Jackson County jail is back in custody after being "mistakenly released" early Sunday morning, according to the Jackson County Sheriff's Office (JCSO).
27-year-old Emily Fasel was released after jail staff apparently mistook her for another inmate that was set to be released due to overcrowding at the jail. According to JCSO, they are investigating the circumstances of that mistake to see if Fasel "intentionally represented herself" as the other inmate.
"Regardless, we made a mistake and let the wrong person out of jail. We will work to ensure this doesn't happen again," said Sheriff Nathan Sickler.
According to JCSO, investigators worked for several days to track Fasel down after her accidental release. She was discovered Tuesday evening at a hotel in Grants Pass—where she was taken back into custody and returned to the jail.
NewsWatch 12 received a tip on Thursday afternoon regarding a possible escaped inmate from the jail, and contacted JCSO for comment. No information was provided until a press release dropped on Tuesday at almost 10 p.m., announcing Fasel's arrest and confirming that she had been missing from the jail.
Fasel was initially arrested by Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement (MADGE) detectives back on June 6 after she was identified as a chronic failure-to-appear (FTA) offender—earning multiple arrest warrants by skipping court dates for heroin and methamphetamine possession charges.
JCSO has been conducting a chronic FTA program for months commonly known as their "Top 5." They frequently publish the names and photos of suspects wanted on multiple warrants for FTA, while preserving space in the jail to house them. When a Top 5 offender is arrested, JCSO has committed to keeping them in jail until they can be processed through the court system.
Fasel was featured in the Top 5 program for several weeks before her initial arrest (see Facebook post below). She had seven arrest warrants at the time. According to JCSO, she was supposed to stay in jail until all of her cases could be tried.
According to JCSO, Fasel has earned a new theft charge for "taking property belonging to the other inmate." This case will be forwarded to the district attorney's office to consider the new charge.