Police urge caution, vigilance in Framingham as search for escaped inmate continues

Updated:

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. - The search for a dangerous escaped inmate has focused on Framingham and police are warning residents to be on the lookout.

FOX25 has learned police have issued robocalls to residents in the area warning them to be on the lookout for James Morales. Outdoor recess for local schools has been canceled and on Wednesday, a Framingham selectman released a statement pledging whatever support necessary to the police department while Morales is still on the loose. 

He escaped from a detention facility in Rhode Island Saturday night and is presumed to have cut himself on the razor wire in doing so.

Sources told FOX25 a retired police officer may have sighted Morales in a black car on Route 123, but the U.S. Marshals have not released any recent information as to his whereabouts.

After having allegedly stolen a car in Attleboro Saturday evening and possibly ditching it in Framingham where he might have been trying to contact his ex-girlfriend, police are focused on that area.

“First, they had me kind of scared, thought they were coming into my building,” a man named Stephen said.

The Framingham resident only wanted to use his first name when speaking to FOX25. He says he’s living in fear, knowing Morales is on the run – possibly nearby.

Police swarmed his Framingham neighborhood on Irving street Monday night after there were reports of Morales in that area.

On New Year’s Eve, the 35-year-old escaped from the Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls Rhode Island. He climbed a razor wire fence, then jumped across the roof tops of several buildings before getting out of prison.

Authorities in Rhode Island briefed FOX25 late Tuesday afternoon.

“The evidence indicates that Mr. Morales was injured during his escape. He may require medical attention. We are asking hospitals, and walk in centers and other medical professionals to be aware and contact law enforcement,” said Jamie Hainsworth with the U.S. Marshal’s office in Rhode Island.

Morales, a former army reservist, was being held at the maximum security jail on charges, that he stole 16 weapons from an armory in Worcester in 2015.

Prior to that, we’ve learned Morales was arrested in Cambridge for “rape of a child” and “indecent assault and battery” charges.

Residents in Framingham told FOX25 police sent out reverse 911 calls Tuesday warning them about Morales.

“Please be advised about this individual in the area, please keep a lookout,” Robert Defeliz said. 

The Wyatt Detention Facility remains on lockdown Tuesday. Police in Rhode Island and Massachusetts are actively looking for Morales.

In the meantime, police will not go into any other details about their investigation or the evidence they found.

>>Man accused of stealing from Worcester armory escapes from RI prison

>>Violent tendencies of escaped inmate worry former neighbors

Next Up: