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Union Grove – A 36-year-old woman who escaped from the Ellsworth Correctional Facility was charged by the Racine County District Attorney’s Office Tuesday afternoon in Racine County Circuit Court.

Christine L. Abel was scheduled to be returned to the county for an initial appearance Tuesday afternoon. She has been held in the Brown County Jail in Green Bay since she was captured April 25.

Held on a $2,500 cash bond, Abel is charged with felony counts of escape, burglary of a building or dwelling, operating a motor vehicle without owner’s consent and theft, all as a repeat offender.

If convicted, she faces a total fine of $70,000 and 34 years, six months in prison.

According to the criminal complaint:
Correctional officers reported that Abel had been missing from the final headcount April 19. At the time she escaped, Abel was serving a sentence for a burglary that happened in Brown County.

As officers investigated her escape, a call came in regarding a stolen vehicle from a nearby residence. Police tracked footprints in the snow leaving the facility to the residence where a 2007 GMC Sierra was reported stolen. The owner stated he left the truck at the house when he went out to dinner. When he returned, the truck — which had the keys and $50 cash in it — was missing.

The homeowner also reported that someone had been inside the home, as there was mud smeared on the outside and inside of the windows, on a couch, the floor and a hutch.

Police located the stolen vehicle in Green Bay on April 22. Three days later, officers and federal marshalls, located the defendant. Abel admitted she escaped from Ellsworth through a gate that was loose enough for her to fit through, that she took some
clothes from a barn and then the truck, which she drove back to Green Bay.

Abel denied that she had been in the residence. She told police she lived in some homeless tents until she caught up with her boyfriend just before she was caught.

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.