15 Sep 2020

Prisoner on the run was handcuffed when she escaped

4:45 pm on 15 September 2020

A prisoner who escaped custody while returning from a visit to Middlemore Hospital on Friday was handcuffed.

Katrina Epiha escaped Corrections custody in Auckland

Photo: NZ Police

Katrina Epiha, 22, is serving a life-sentence for murder at Auckland Regional Women's Prison. She is still on the run.

Epiha was taken to the hospital in the early hours of 11 September for an injury treatment that could not be carried out at the prison.

She was accompanied by two officers and handcuffed to one of them.

Corrections did not say how she managed to escape, but said a full operational review was underway and it was not able to provide further information.

Regional Commissioner Lynette Cave said Corrections have provided police with information to assist them to locate her.

She said the prisoner was likely to be charged with escaping custody, which could result in a maximum sentence of five years' imprisonment.

Police warned yesterday anyone who is helping her evade capture risks being prosecuted.