Two female inmates were discovered to be missing from the York Correctional Facility in the Niantic section of town Saturday evening by Department of Corrections staff members.
According to a statement from the State of Connecticut Department of Corrections, staff noticed that the pair was unaccounted for as a group of inmates, that reside in the same area of the prison, were returning from the gymnasium at 8:15 p.m.
The prison, located at 201 West Main St., was placed in lock down and an emergency count was ordered, which identified the two missing inmates as Melissa Riley, 30, from Willimantic and Jessica Rivera, 34, from Waterbury, Brian Garnett, spokesman for the DOC said.
State police and local law enforcement officials were notified around 8:30 p.m.
The escape is considered a walk away as the two were housed in the minimum security side of the prison, which is not totally secured by a fence, Garnett said. Rivera has been involved in a similar incident in the past when she walked away from a halfway house and had to be tracked down.
Riley was last returned to the system on July 18, 2011 with a controlling charge of possession of narcotics, and a total sentence of three years and three months to serve.
Rivera was last returned to the system on July 12, 2011 with a controlling charge of conspiracy, and a total sentence of four years to serve.
Multiple police and canine units were searching the area according to a State Police statement issued at 12:35 a.m. Sunday morning.
State police say Riley's last known address was Cemetery Avenue in Scotland, CT. Riley is described by State Police as approximately 5'9" tall weighing 160 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. Rivera's last known address was West Farm Street in Waterbury. Rivera is described by State Police as being 5'1" tall weighing approximately 116 pounds with black hair and brown eyes.
Anyone with information about the inmates is asked to contact Connecticut State Police Troop E in Montville at 860-848-6500.