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State prisoner missing from halfway house

CONCORD -- Police are searching for a state prisoner who went missing Wednesday night from a halfway house.

Manuel Rivera-Ortiz, 30, was not present at 9:45 p.m. when a head count was conducted at the halfway house known as the Corrections Transitional Work Center. He immediately was placed on escape status.

Rivera-Ortiz is described as 6-foot-1, 240 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing his green prison uniform.

Rivera-Ortiz was sentenced in Hillsborough County Superior Court to 2 1/2 to 7 years in prison on nine stalking convictions. He was credited with 129 days for pre-trial confinement.

He began serving the sentences on April 24, 2013, and was eligible for parole on June 13, 2015, with a maximum release date of Dec. 14, 2019.

The DOC's Investigations Bureau and state police are investigating.

Anyone with information about Rivera-Ortiz's whereabouts is asked to call the local police department or the state prison at 271-1801.

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