Police, Feds seek escaped Phila. prisoner

PHILADELPHIA - November 27, 2009

Philadelphia police squads are scouring the city looking for Oscar Alvarado. Federal marshals joined the search Friday.

Philadelphia police have an all-points bulletin out for 27-year-old Oscar Alvarado, a murder suspect from North Philadelphia. He escaped from the Curran Fromhold Prison Thanksgiving afternoon and remains at large. In addition to the link to the murder case, he has an extensive arrest record for drugs and weapons.

Alvarado, whose last known address was on the 3300 block of North Philip Street in Philadelphia and also goes by the name Frank Ortiz, had been held at Curran Fromhold in the general population for more than a year, charged with a murder in North Philadelphia's Fairhill Square Park at 4th and Lehigh in October 2008. Alvarado and his cousin, who was also arrested and charged with murder, were set to go on trial early in the new year.

The Philadelphia Prison Commissioner gave a skeleton account of what the investigation has revealed: Between 3pm and 5pm on Thanksgiving, Alvarado managed to use an unauthorized visitor's pass to get through 2 security check points, a dozen corrections officers and into the visitors area where he put on civilian clothes. He was wearing dark pants and a light-colored T-shirt when he walked out among other Thanksgiving visitors. The prison notified the Philadelphia police around 9:30pm that he was missing.

It's the first time there's been an escape from this 14-year-old jail complex.

Police say Alvarado is 5'7", weight 160 pounds and is now clean-shaven. He is either bald or has a close-cropped haircut. He has several tattoos on his left forearm and bicep, as well as a tattoo of a woman on his back.

Police urge anyone who spots this murder suspect to stay away and call 911.

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