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Escaped Pulaski Co. Inmate Remains Free, Search Continues

Anael Castro-Hernandez, 30, got out of custody Monday morning while being transported to the Pulaski County Courthouse.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - An accused child rapist is still on the loose tonight after escaping custody.

He was last spotted at Interstate Park in Little Rock, a convenient location for Anael Castro-Hernandez because of the train tracks there.

He's apparently jumped on freight trains in the past when running from the law.

While it's not known if that's what happened this time, deputies say it's a possibility and they've been searching train cars throughout the day.

That's not the only place they've been searching though.

Just after 8 this morning law enforcement searched by chopper and on foot looking for the escapee.

Behind bars for three counts of rape, sheriff's deputies say he may have been waiting for just the right moment, a court date today at the Pulaski County Courthouse, where he was supposed to receive a mental evaluation.

Lt. Carl Minden said, "This was his chance to go to court. I don't think this was a spur of the moment thing for him. I think he saw this as his opportunity."

Detectives say it's possible Castro-Hernandez got out of his handcuffs as he made a run for it during a ride to the courthouse.

After the escape, officers saw him running south on Center Street.

Looking for him in the downtown area caused massive traffic tie-ups and even the lockdown of nearby schools during the manhunt.

But about two hours after his escape, search crews focused their attention on Interstate Park where someone spotted the escaped inmate in a wooded area.

Combing through thick brush and swampy land, law enforcement officers left empty-handed.

Lt. Minden said, "We got several tracks on him, the only problem is it's really swampy, it's rough terrain out here. It's kind of like finding a needle in the haystack right now."

Castro-Hernandez is from Honduras.

He's in the country illegally and was also on an Immigration and Customs Enforcement hold.

Deputies believe he may have connections to North Little Rock as well.

If you see him, he's considered dangerous.

You should not approach him, but call 911 right away.

If you would like to follow Melissa Schroeder's reports on Facebook, you can click here and like her page.

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