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Second inmate in 3 days goes missing from Concord prison unit

For the second time in three days, a state prisoner has walked away from the men’s transitional work unit in Concord, officials said yesterday.

Officials said Chad Lawlor, 39, of Orange, Mass., was last seen at 1:30 p.m. yesterday at the prison’s farm at 314 N. State St. Lawlor is described as just under 6 feet tall, 257 pounds and partially bald with hazel eyes. He was wearing a green prison uniform at the time of his disappearance.

Lawlor had been serving a 2½- to 7-year sentence out of Merrimack County for assaulting a prison staff member. He was eligible for parole in June of next year.

The escape comes just two days after a 30-year-old inmate went missing from the same unit, and less than a month after another inmate failed to report to the adjacent halfway house. Jeremy Slack, 37, was later detained and returned to the Concord prison. The 30-year-old, Juan Rivera-Ortiz, did not appear to have been detained as of yesterday, the state police said.

It’s unclear whether any added security precautions have been implemented at either of the facilities. Prison officials did not immediately return phone calls yesterday afternoon.

The state police in Concord declined to say whether they have stepped up surveillance in the area.

More than a hundred prisoners live in the work unit. They labor in and around the prison but are not allowed to venture into the surrounding community.

Rivera-Ortiz, who is described as just over 6 feet tall and weighing 240 pounds with black hair and brown eyes, was placed on escaped status late Tuesday evening, officials said. He was serving a 2½- to 7-year sentence on nine counts of stalking out of Hillsborough County.

The corrections department and state police are investigating both escapes. Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Lawlor or Rivera-Ortiz can call their local police or state authorities at 271-1801.

(Jeremy Blackman can be reached at 369-3319, jblackman@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @JBlackmanCM.)

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