Steven Robbins, 44, was serving time in Indiana State Prison for fatally shooting a Kentucky man in 2002 when he was brought to Chicago to appear in court Wednesday on armed violence and drug charges, the Chicago Tribune reported.
After he appeared in Cook County court and the charges were dismissed, he was released because there was no indication in his jail paperwork that he was ordered to remain in custody, said Frank Bilecki, a spokesman for Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart.
The mistake was not realized until the next morning when Cook County's fugitive warrant unit called the jail to make arrangements to send Robbins back to Indiana, Bilecki said.
Authorities did not alert the public of his release until Thursday night because they didn't want to alert Robbins of their efforts to arrest him, Bilecki said.
"We were trying to hit all the spots where we thought he might be before he became aware that we were looking for him," he said.
Now, a warrant for Robbins' arrest has been issued in Illinois and Indiana.
Robbins is supposed to be serving a prison term of 60 years for the fatal shooting.