A Ruskin man who escaped from a St. Petersburg work release facility is back in Pinellas County after more than nine months.
Simon Thomas Ortiz, 22, was reported missing from the work release center at 4237 Eighth Ave. S in St. Petersburg after he didn't appear in a head count in early February.
St. Petersburg police spokesman Mike Puetz said another worker received a call from Ortiz at the facility in late March. Ortiz told the worker he left because he missed his children, Puetz said.
Ortiz was living in the work release center, which monitored inmates but allowed them to come and go for employment, as part of a five-year sentence for 2008 burglary and grand theft convictions out of Hillsborough County.
The Pinellas Pasco Circuit Court put out a warrant for his arrest in April. In June, he was arrested in Hillsborough County on several probable cause warrants. Until Thursday, he was being held in the Hillsborough County Jail.
On Thursday, he was transported back to the Pinellas jail, where he remained Friday to face charges of escape.