The Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office continues to ask for the public’s help in locating Rafael Buenfil, a 37-year-old Moorhead man who is considered an escapee from the county jail.

Buenfil was granted a furlough by the court Sept. 21 to attend his mother’s funeral in Fergus Falls. He left the jail at 3:51 p.m. Tuesday but never returned.

It is believed that Buenfil never attended the funeral. A report from the day of his escape indicates Buenfil was attempting to get a ride to St. Paul.

Anyone with information is asked to call their local law enforcement agency.

Buenfil was convicted of felony auto theft and fleeing a police officer. He was sentenced to serve a 17-month term at the Minnesota Correctional Facility — St. Cloud, but that sentence was stayed for four years. Instead, he was given five years of probation. He was also ordered to pay $9,000 in restitution and $585 in court fees.

Buenfil ran afoul of the law May 15 when he stole a green GMC Sierra in Fergus Falls. An Otter Tail County deputy observed the stolen vehicle northbound on U.S. Highway 59 and gave chase. Buenfil eluded the deputy’s pursuit but was later taken into custody in Clay County.

Buenfil spent 127 days in jail before probation was granted by Judge Michael Fritz.

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