Youth escapes from Oregon Youth Authority custody in Albany

Anyone who sees Shay Earnest should call 911. (updated Aug. 5, 2022)

A 16-year-old committed to the Oregon Youth Authority (OYA) escaped from the Young Women’s Transition Program (YWTP) in Albany at about 11:10 a.m. on July 24, 2022.

Shay Earnest left a supervised church service in the community without permission. A warrant has been issued, and law enforcement were notified.

Earnest was committed to OYA custody in May 2021 out of Lane County. Earnest is 5-foot-4, weighs about 185 pounds, has hazel eyes, and wears glasses. At the time of the escape, Earnest had very short dark brown hair.

“We want to locate Shay quickly to ensure the youth’s safety,” said Jenny Smith, an OYA spokesperson. “Anyone who sees Shay or knows something about this youth’s whereabouts should call 911.”

YWTP is one of four step-down transitional facilities at OYA designed to prepare youth for their return to the community. Transitional facilities have lower security than youth correctional facilities and are reserved for youth who have made significant progress in their treatment and reformation plans. Youth in these transition facilities are frequently out in the community for work and other opportunities.

Shay Earnest

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