Escapee from Austin halfway house added to U.S. Marshals most wanted list

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The search continues for a convicted sex offender who walked away from an Austin halfway house last October.

Kevin Patrick Stoeser is now on the U.S. Marshals Top 15 Most Wanted list after he failed to return to the Austin Transitional Center last October. This wasn’t the first time someone escaped from that facility.

“He’s dangerous, not just to a child but to any woman that’s out there,” said Rubye Sampson, who has lived across the street from the Austin Transitional Center for 36 years.

GOING IN-DEPTH // Reentry Centers

  • The facility Stoeser escaped from is the only one of its kind in our area.
  • It is a contracted “Residential Reentry Center” that can hold 75 people at a time; 68 men and 7 women.
  • There is a reward up to $25,000 for any information leading to Stoeser’s arrest.

Knowing a convicted sex offender managed to escape that quickly has her questioning the facility’s security.

“And if they haven’t caught him something is definitely wrong over there,” Sampson said. “The security’s not good.”

Now on the U.S Marshals top 15 most wanted list, authorities are afraid Stoeser could re-offend if not caught soon.

He was serving the remainder of a 13 year sentence for sex offenses involving children as young as 13. Authorities say he escaped just six weeks after he was admitted.

“Security in a halfway house is counterproductive if you’re trying to re-acclimate a prisoner and reintegrate him or her into society,” said Hector Gomez with the U.S. Marshals Service.

But just how easy is it for someone to leave if they wanted to? “I have left before and all I had to do was walk out the door,” one inmate said.

It’s a scary thought for nearby residents like Sampson who say it is time to step up security before someone gets hurt.

We reached out to the company who runs the facility, Avalon Corrections. They have yet to respond.

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