UPDATED: U.S. Marshal Tells Fugitive: ‘Turn Yourself In’; Escaped Prisoner Last Seen in Framingham

Originally posted at 3:55 p.m. Updated after reverse 9-1-1 call by Framingham Police on January 3. Updated the last time on Wednesday for morning newsletter.


PROVIDENCE, RI – The federal agency responsible for capturing escaped prisoners urged James W. Morales to turn himself in during a press conference in Providence, R.I. this afternoon, January 3.

The former U.S. Army reservist was being held in the Wyatt Correctional Center in Rhode Island, when he escaped on Saturday, Dec. 31.

Today is the fourth day Morales has eluded U.S. Marshals and avoided capture. And today was the first time authorities discussed the fugitive.

The fugitive was last seen in Framingham on Sunday, January 1.

U.S. Marshal for Rhode Island Jamie Hainsworth said Morales should “turn yourself in,” responding to a reporter’s question at the press conference.

“Our immediate priority has been and will continue to be to find James Morales and get him off the street,” Hainsworth said, during the afternoon conference, in which Massachusetts State Police said Morales has been added to the Commonwealth’s most wanted list.

Morales is considered “extremely dangerous.” The public is asked to call a new confidential phone tip line if he is seen 1-800-336-0102.

Police have indicated he could be armed. Morales was arrested and in the federal prison awaiting a trial for stealing weapons from a U.S. Armory in Worcester. There is also a previous arrest for a rape of a child under age 10.

Morales is described as 6 feet, 175 lbs, with brown skin and black hair. He has three tattoos: A crown with the name “Sherrelle” on his left hand, the word “KING” on his right hand and an eagle on the left side of his neck.

Massachusetts State Police issued an alert on Sunday that Morales was seen in Massachusetts, had stolen a vehicle in Attleboro and could be headed to Framingham, where he had ties. 

He escaped from the prison on Saturday night, but the prison did not notify authorities until ore than 5 hours later on Sunday, authorities revealed today.

Framingham Police told Framingham Source the vehicle stolen was found in Framingham and that a Framingham Police Officer reported seeing Morales in Framingham on Sunday. He escaped from the prison around 7 p.m. on Saturday.

Framingham Police Lt. Stephen Cronin said a Framingham Police Officer believed he saw Morales in a vehicle on Hollis Street on Sunday. The vehicle headed towards Ashland and was not found, said the police spokesperson.

Lt. Cronin said surveillance video from a convenience store at the intersection of Route 135 and 126 also captured the fugitive on Sunday.

Massachusetts State Police announced the vehicle was found on Sunday night, but not the location.

The vehicle found on Gordon Street in Framingham, said Lt. Cronin. The car was impounded by the U.S. Marshals, said Cronin.

“There was blood inside the vehicle,” said Lt. Cronin. “It is believed to be suspect’s blood. It would be a miracle if he did not cut himself on the razor wire when escaping from prison.”

The U.S. Marshals have asked hospitals and medical personal to be on alert for Morales, as they believe he needs medical treatment.

Residents in the neighborhood contacted Framingham Source to report heavy police on both Gordon and Irving streets in downtown Framingham on January 2. Residents said state and federal police would not tell them what they were doing, or if they were searching for the “dangerous” fugitive.

Police searched a home on Irving Street, which has three units, and where Morales’ ex-girfriend and her two children live. The ex-girfriend and the two children are no longer at that address, according to neighbors, who said that federal authorities removed them. Police have confirmed that.

Today, BLOCKS preschool at the former Juniper Hill School had a shelter-in place during the school day, related to the fugitive, according to an email that was issued to parents just around 2:30 p.m. Both Framingham Police and Massachusetts State Police said they could not comment on the shelter-in place at the school to Framingham Source.

But around 6 p.m. today, Framingham Police issued a reverse 9-1-1 call alerting residents that the fugitive was last seen in Framingham on Sunday, January 1 and they should be aware that he is still at-large.

Back in Rhode Island, two correctional officers at the federal prison has been placed on leave since the escape.

The Warden from the federal prison said Morales was in the prison’s recreation yard, when he escaped. Morales climbed on top of the basketball hoop’s backboard and used something to cut through a fence and then made his way to the prison’s roof, acccording to a statement by the Warden. Morales had to get through a couple of layers of razor wire before he could completely esacpe the prison, according to the Warden.


Framingham Source Editor Susan Petroni

Susan Petroni Framingham Source Editor Email: editor@FraminghamSource.com Phone: 508-315-7176

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