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Convicted killer hunted after being mistakenly released

Cook County Sheriff via AP

Steven L. Robbins was serving a 60-year sentence for murder and weapons charges in Indiana before being mistakenly freed.

Police in two states and FBI agents on Thursday night were searching for a convicted murderer who was mistakenly released by Illinois authorities.

Steven L. Robbins, 44, who is serving a 60-year sentence for murder in Indiana, was mistakenly released Wednesday by Illinois authorities, officials from the Indiana Department of Corrections said.

Robbins was released from Indiana State Prison to appear in Cook County Circuit Court for drug charges on Tuesday, authorities said. Those charges against him were subsequently dropped.

But for reasons not known Thursday, Illinois authorities released him instead of returning him to the custody of Indiana officials.

"He walked out of Gate 5 [of the jail] and hasn’t been seen by authorities since," Cook County Sheriff's Department Frank Bilecki told the Chicago Sun-Times, referring to the jail’s main entrance and exit.

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Robbins remained at large Thursday, and a warrant was issued for his arrest in both Indiana and Illinois, officials said.

Cook County officials acknowledged the mistake in a press release.

"[Sheriff Tom Dart] has ordered an investigation into the facts and circumstances regarding his court appearance and release from custody," the statement said.

Robbins is serving a 60-year sentence for murder and carrying a handgun without a license in Indiana, according to a release from the Indiana Department of Correction. His earliest projected release date was June 29, 2029.

Robbins is described as a black man who stands 5 feet, 5 inches tall and weighs about 190 pounds. He has a tattoo on the right side of his neck that says "Nicole," officials said.

Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts should dial 911 or call Crime Stoppers at 317-252-8477.

NBCChicago.com