Cops: Killer swaps clothes with friend, escapes psych ward

Raymond Morillo
CBS New York

NEW YORK - The NYPD is asking for the public’s help in finding a convicted killer who escaped from a psychiatric facility in New York City Tuesday morning, CBS New York reports.

Raymond Morillo, 33, escaped from the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in Queens Village around 11:25 a.m. Tuesday, by switching clothing with a friend who was visiting him, police said.

After the swap, according to police, Morillo and his friend managed to walk out of the hospital undetected.

“It’s frightening, let’s put it that way,” New York State Sen. Tony Avella told CBS New York. ”I want a full investigation about what happened here and how we can improve security.”



The New York State Office of Mental Health told CBS New York “escaped patients are a very rare occurrence within OMH’s secure psychiatric centers.”

The statement went on to say a thorough investigation is standard procedure, and “when appropriate, to require policy changes to prevent reoccurrence.”

Morillo served 15 years in prison for manslaughter and assault for shooting a man on a street in Queens in May 1998. He’s been confined to Creedmoor since completing his sentence, according to the station.

Those who live near the psychiatric facility said they’re on edge.

“It’s a dangerous situation, I hope they catch the person,” one local resident told CBS New York.

“This is a residential area here and it’s a highly wooded area. These guys could hide out around here at any time. There’s kids around here, lots of schools,” the resident said.

Morillo is described as Hispanic, 5-foot-11, and weighing 215 pounds. He has a teardrop tattoo below his left eye and was last seen wearing a black baseball cap, white sweater and tan pants, according to the station. 

Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS.