Escapee of Eastern State Hospital caught by police; Search continues for other convicted felon that escaped

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Posted at 1:44 PM, Apr 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-19 19:20:59-04

JAMES CITY Co., Va. - The Virginia State Police is investigating and searching for two men who escaped the Eastern State Hospital facility Sunday morning.

According to the VSP, the two patients were identified as 29-year-old Bryant Marcus Wilkerson and 31-year-old Austin Preston Leigh. Both men are convicted felons with outstanding warrants on file.

Wilkerson is wanted on a felony probation violation, and a warrant was also taken out for escaping a mental facility. He is considered armed and dangerous.

Leigh has outstanding drug warrants out of Chesapeake, as well as a warrant for escaping a mental facility.

Around 5:45 p.m. on Sunday, escapee Austin Preston Leigh was taken into custody by the Chesapeake Police Department. Leigh did not know Wilkerson or his current whereabouts. He is being held at Chesapeake City Jail with no bond.

State and local police departments are still actively searching for Wilkerson, and still seeking the public's assistance in any information leading to his capture.

The escapee that state police are still searching for, Wilkerson, had just been admitted to the hospital on April 6, pursuant to an April 4 court order.

According to an update from police on Monday, at this stage of the investigation, it appears the two men damaged an interior wall as a means of making their escape. The incident remains under investigation.

Anyone with information on Wilkerson or his whereabouts is asked to call the VSP at (757) 424-6800, #77, or email at