ORANGE (CNS) - A teenage murder suspect who escaped from juvenile hall in Orange was back in custody this morning after 21 hours on the loose and his sister defended her brother's actions.
Ike Souzer, 15, was taken into custody without incident at 9 p.m. Friday at a McDonald's restaurant near the corner of Euclid Street and Glenoaks Avenue in Anaheim, according to Capt. Mike Peters of the Orange County Sheriff's Department.
Souzer escaped from the facility in the 300 block of The City Drive South shortly after midnight Friday, according to Carrie Braun of the Orange County Sheriff's Department, which assisted Orange County Probation Department personnel in the search. Souzer was being held at the facility since allegedly stabbing his mother to death in 2017.
The teen got out of a locked housing unit and made his way over an exterior barbed-wire fence, Braun said. Surveillance video indicated he was tending to his leg after getting over the fence, so authorities believe he cut it on the barbed wire, she said, adding that he was discovered missing at 12:11 a.m.
After being taken into custody, Souzer was treated for wounds to a leg, possibly suffered during the escape, Peters said.
Probation officials do head counts every 15 minutes at the 434-bed coed institution, which houses juveniles -- typically between the ages of 12 and 18 -- being detained pending juvenile court hearings. The Probation Department runs the facility.
About five dozen personnel, including sheriff's deputies, District Attorney's Office investigators and probation officers, searched for Souzer, who is accused of fatally stabbing his mother at their residence in the 11000 block of Gilbert Street in Garden Grove.
Before Barbara Scheuer-Souzer died at a hospital, she alleged that her son was the person who stabbed her. Officers found him at a shopping center a half-mile away from the crime scene shortly after his mortally wounded mother was found, police said.
Souzer's sister, Berlin, told KCAL9 her brother was being painted by the media as “someone he's not.”
In a Facebook message to the station, she said “he has gone through a lot. Mental and physical abuse. He's a troubled teen that needs help. He's not dangerous whatsoever. What he did was self-defense. She beat on him daily.”