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Local man drowns in Chattanooga
Farless escapes hospital, jumps in river
Farless w sm
The body of 36-year-old Waylon Farless, a DeKalb County prisoner who managed to escape from the Moccasin Bend Mental Health Institute last Tuesday, was found Thursday about a mile from the spot where he jumped into the Tennessee River while evading Chattanooga authorities. Farless was arrested last Thursday and charged with driving on a revoked license and theft of property over $1,000 after being accused of stealing a trailer from property just off New Home Road.According to Sheriff Patrick Ray, Farless was transported to the Smith County Jail on Friday, where he allegedly tried to harm himself.Farless was taken to the hospital in Smith County, underwent a mental evaluation, and was sent to Moccasin Bend on Saturday.Ray said staff members at the institute contacted him Tuesday saying they were planning to release Farless back to the sheriff's department by noon that day.Ray said he was later informed that Farless had escaped from the facility and was last seen trying to swim across the river.Chattanooga police said Farless jumped off a roof and climbed a fence at approximately 7:15 p.m. Tuesday in an attempt to escape the facility.Witnesses told authorities that they saw Farless swim about halfway across the river before calling for help, then going under.Searchers were not able to locate Farless, and the search of the water was called off on Wednesday night.At that point it was not clear whether Farless had escaped or drowned.Chattanooga police received a call at 11:06 a.m. Thursday saying that a body had been found about a mile down river from the facility.The body was recovered and identified as Farless.