Authorities: Nelson Center escapee found passed out in stolen car

Damian Ortberg faces two new charges

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CEDAR RAPIDS — Authorities say a Cedar Rapids man wanted for escaping the Lary Nelson Center was found passed out in a stolen car.

According to the Linn County Attorney’s Office, 39-year-old Damian D. Ortberg was sentenced to the Lary Nelson residential facility on Aug. 11 after being convicted of third-degree burglary and possession of a controlled substance. Authorities said Ortberg left the facility on Sept. 2, failed to return and was placed on escape status.

Authorities said while Ortberg was on the run he stole a 2007 Ford Taurus from Lincolnway Motors on Mount Vernon Road. Cedar Rapids police found the car parked outside of the Linn County Child and Youth Development Center on Sept. 6. Ortberg was passed out inside, authorities said.

Ortberg has been charged with second-degree theft and escape.

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