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BRIGHTON, Colo. — An inmate who was set to be released from the Adams County Jail next week left the facility late Wednesday night when he took out the trash and did not return, the Adams County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday.

Christopher Garcia, 45, was working as a nighttime janitor on Wednesday. When he went to put trash from the jail into a dumpster in the front parking lot area about 11:30 p.m., he did not return, the sheriff’s office said.

Deputies and officers with the Brighton Police Department searched a neighborhood for several hours but could not find Garcia. His inmate-issued clothing and inmate identification card were found.

Garcia is described as being 5-foot-7, 235 pounds, balding with hazel eyes. His last known address was in the 8400 block of Staci Drive in Federal Heights.

He was being held for failing to comply on a theft charge and failing to comply on a forgery/possession of a controlled substance charge. He was scheduled to be released on Oct. 31.

The sheriff’s office waited nearly 12 hours to release information about the escape. It did not return calls for comment.

“It’s scary to know there’s somebody out there in the neighborhood, and it’s upsetting that they don’t let us know,” Julissa Sanchez said.

Sanchez has a student at nearby Overland Middle School and said several students walk to and from the school every day.

“The jail is across the street from an elementary school and a middle school,” she said. “With the schools, I think that should have been known way sooner.”

Cindy Petty said she saw officers going door to door with flashlights, but never received a reverse emergency notification call or an email alert.

“I thought they were supposed to do it right away. I didn’t get no phone call,” Petty said. “I was uneasy because I didn’t know what was going on.”

Anyone who sees Garcia or knows his whereabouts is asked to call the sheriff’s office at 303-288-1535 or 911.