A preliminary hearing was scheduled for May 23 for an inmate charged with escaping from Ellsworth Correctional Facility in Union Grove

Christine L. Abel, 36, now an inmate at the Brown County Jail in Green Bay, was charged May 1 in Racine County Circuit Court with escape and burglary of a building or dwelling, operating a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent and theft of movable property, all as a repeater.

According to the criminal complaint, staff at Ellsworth reported Abel missing from their headcount on the night of April 19. She was serving a sentence there for a burglary in Brown County in 2015.

While deputies were at the prison, they received a call that a truck had been stolen from a Church Road home in Union Grove. Deputies and a K-9 officer traced footprints in the snow from the prison to the Church Road home, according to the complaint.

Residents of the home said they left to go out to dinner, and, when they returned home, the truck was missing, and someone had been inside the home as evidenced by mud smeared on windows, furniture and the floor, according to the complaint.

Police found the truck in Green Bay on April 22, and found Abel in Green Bay on April 25, the complaint states.

Abel, who is 5 feet 1 inch tall and 125 pounds, told police she escaped through a gate at the prison that was loose enough for her to fit through, according to the complaint. She said she walked in the snow and came upon a farm with a barn. Abel said she went in the barn to warm up, found some clothes that she put on and then saw the truck in the driveway with the keys in the ignition, according to the complaint. She said she drove the truck to Green Bay, but she denied going inside the house, he complaint states.

For more Racine County court news see the May 25 edition of the Westine Report.