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Police in Chester County seek escapee

A Philadelphia man, who was nearing the end of his state prison term, is now a fugitive after fleeing Thursday from a Chester County drug-rehab center, state police said today.

James Lee Abner, 25, was last seen at 6:40 p.m. running from the Gaudenzia Inc. drug rehabilitation facility in Westtown Township, police said.

State prison officials said Abner had been granted prerelease and was nearing his minimum release date - Aug. 21, 2011 - for a three- to six-year prison term. Instead, he will face additional charges when he is returned to custody, police said.

Police, who said Abner had a history of drug and weapons offenses, urge anyone with information to call the Embreeville barracks at 484-340-3241.