ARMSTRONG COUNTY (KDKA) – An independent investigator will look into the inmate trustee program at the Armstrong County jail.

That’s the program that Robert Crissman was in when he managed to leave the jail unnoticed. After getting out, police say Crissman killed a woman and was on the run for nearly 24 hours.

READ MORE: COVID-19 Vaccine In Pittsburgh: CVS Receiving More Doses Of The Vaccine

Armstrong County’s prison board wants to get to the bottom of the escape of Crissman late last month.

Today the board voted to hire an outside agency to do the job.

“I am making a recommendation to this board that we hire an external investigation firm to investigate the incident that occurred at the county jail,” said Richard Fink, President of the Armstrong County Prison Board.

Crissman, who had special status as a non-violent inmate, ran away from the Kittanning facility on the morning of July 31.

READ MORE: Pop-Up Miniature Golf Course Planned For Oakland

While on the run, police say he beat and strangled 55-year-old Tammy Long and then stole her vehicle. The prison board believes an outside entity is the best way to figure out how Crissman escaped.

“We will be looking at all facets of our policy our procedures, what exactly happened that day because obviously there weren’t any board members that were present,” said Jason Lewis, Prison Board Solicitor.

The prison board will hold its regular public meeting Thursday morning, which will be the public’s first real opportunity to ask questions about how an inmate escapes and commits a murder while on the run. Questions some had hoped to get answers to today.

“If there was a mistake made, we want to address that, but neither do we want to have some kind of knee-jerk reaction,” said Lewis.

MORE NEWS: Amendment Made To Pittsburgh's CROWN Act

Join The Conversation On The KDKA Facebook Page
Stay Up To Date, Follow KDKA On Twitter

Lynne Hayes-Freeland