Fourth patient escapes psychiatric hospital in Toulouse in 10 days

It makes three escapes from one hospital - including a known cannibal and murderer - and one from another in the city. The latest patient to flee is a known rapist

Police in France
Police are actively searching for the latest patient to have escaped

[Update: The man has now been found. Read more: Psychiatric patient who escaped from Toulouse found in Paris]

Another patient from the Gérard-Marchant psychiatric hospital in Toulouse has escaped, making it the third evasion from the hospital and the fourth in the city in the past 10 days.

The latest escapee is a known rapist in his early 40s, La Dépêche reported. He managed to leave the hospital grounds on Friday afternoon (January 28) and is still on the run, the latest media reports state.

Police in the area are actively searching for him.

Fourth escape in 10 days

This is the fourth time a patient has escaped from a psychiatric hospital in Toulouse in the past 10 days, with three from the Gérard-Marchant hospital and one from the psychiatric unit of Purpan hospital.

The first to escape, on January 19, was a man known for carrying out an act of brutal murder and canibalism on a 90-year-old pensioner.

Jérémy Rimbaud, 34, known also as the cannibale des Pyrénées or the cannibale de Nouilhan, managed to escape for several hours and attacked a 72-year-old woman, who had to be hospitalised.

Rimbaud is a former soldier who was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder in 2013 after serving in Afghanistan. He also suffers from other psychological disorders.

On November 15, 2013, he attacked 90-year-old retired farmer Léopold Pébèbidau at his home in Nouilhan (Hautes-Pyrénées). He mistook the man for a member of the Taliban due to his delirious state.

Rimbaud cut out the tongue and heart of his victim and ate them.

Read more: French police investigate after attack by escaped ‘Pyrenees cannibal’

The two other patients who have escaped recently are not known to be dangerous.

How are the patients escaping?

The exact details are not known.

However, the patients are not prisoners, and are normally allowed to walk around the grounds of the hospital while under surveillance.

An unnamed staff member at Gérard-Marchant hospital said that in reality there are often escapes from the hospital, but it is only when someone dangerous escapes, like Rimbaud, that the hospital reports it, RTL reported.

The Gérard-Marchand Hospital has announced that the patient wards have been closed since 18:30 yesterday and will remain closed for the duration of this weekend to prevent other escapes.

The regional health authority has also said that additional security measures have been added to the hospital.

This includes securing entrances and exits, reinforcing patient surveillance, closing units, adding additional staff members and a review of risk assessments.

The mayor of Toulouse, Jean-Luc Moudenc, has demanded a rapid and transparent explanation from the regional health authority regarding the recent escapes.

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