01/03/2014 05:21 am ET Updated Mar 05, 2014

Jason Carter, Man Accused In South Carolina Double Murder, Escapes Psychiatric Hospital

Jan 3 (Reuters) - A man accused of killing his mother and stepfather, whose plastic-wrapped bodies police found inside a locked basement room in South Carolina in 2006, escaped on Thursday from a psychiatric hospital, authorities said.

Police were unsure how 39-year-old Jason Carter escaped from the Columbia hospital, where he was committed after being found incompetent to stand trial in the killings, Oconee County Sheriff's Office spokesman Jimmy Watt said, adding that he may be traveling in a stolen white van.

Carter was working at a supply business on the hospital's campus some 115 miles (185 kms) northwest of Charleston in the southern U.S. state, CNN affiliate WISTV reported, citing local law enforcement.

Eight years ago, police officers "found the bodies of Kevin and Debra Ann Perkins inside a locked room in the basement with Carter inside with the victims," Watt said.

A defense attorney said during the trial that Carter had no recollection of committing the murders, WISTV reported, adding investigators had discovered the bodies wrapped in plastic bags in the basement.

Carter fled the 370-bed G. Werber Bryan Psychiatric Hospital that treats community patients as well as those involuntarily committed by the courts, the Herald newspaper reported. (Reporting by Eric M. Johnson)



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