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Press Release

Sioux City Woman Who Walked Away from Halfway House Sentenced to 15 Months in Federal Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Pray was serving a sentence for conspiracy to distribute drugs

A woman who escaped from custody was sentenced March 16, 2023, to more than one year in federal prison.

Sarah Renee Pray, age 32, from Sioux City, received the prison term after a December 15, 2022, guilty plea to one count of escape from custody. 

At the guilty plea, Pray admitted that on August 31, 2022, she escaped from custody from the Dismas Charities Residential Reentry Center (RRC) in Sioux City.  Pray was confined to Dismas pursuant to a conviction for conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance out of the United States District Court for South Dakota.   

On August 31, 2022, at approximately 9:00 p.m., Dismas staff conducted a routine head count and were not able to locate Pray.  Staff determined Pray did not have permission to be out of the facility and checked with her emergency contacts, local jails, and hospitals with negative results.  Pray’s whereabouts were unknown until she turned herself in to authorities on October 4, 2022, at the Union County Jail in Elk Point, South Dakota.     

Pray was sentenced in Sioux City by United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand.  Pray was sentenced to 15 months’ imprisonment.  She must also serve a 2-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

Pray is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until she can be transported to a federal prison.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kevin C. Fletcher and investigated by United States Marshal’s Service. 

Court file information at

The case file number is 22-CR-4082.

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Updated March 22, 2023

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