Officer Arrested After Convicted Murderer Escapes From Prison

Sarah Pender, 29, Missing Since Monday Afternoon

An officer at the Rockville Correctional Facility hid an inmate convicted of murder in his vehicle and drove her off prison grounds, authorities said.

Corrections officer Scott Spitler was arrested early Tuesday after investigators said they determined that he had helped Sarah Pender, 29, escape from the prison the day before.

"She had manipulated him to the point where [he had planned his day] to get a vehicle inside the facility and then take her outside the facility," said Indiana Department of Corrections Commissioner Edwin Buss.

Spitler was preliminarily charged with assisting a criminal, official misconduct, sexual misconduct and trafficking with an inmate.

“While I am embarrassed for the IDOC and deeply angered and disappointed in the officer’s conduct that led to the offender’s escape, I am proud that my department moved quickly to identify those involved in aiding in the escape,” Buss said.

Pender -- who was serving a 110-year sentence -- had not been found Tuesday. She is from Nineveh, and was convicted of murder in Marion County.

Authorities described Pender as white, 5 feet 8 inches tall, medium build with brown hair and blue eyes.

She has a target tattoo on her upper right leg and a faded butterfly tattoo on her chest.

Pender was convicted in the murders of Andrew Cataldi and Tricia Nordman in October 2000.

Police said Pender bought a shotgun that was used to kill her roommates. The victims' bodies were found in a trash bin on the south side of Indianapolis.