Christopher Nagel, suspect in wife's killing, was missing for 5 hours

Nagel, the Spruce Grove man charged with first-degree murder in the death of Rienna Nagel, escaped from guards at the University of Alberta Hospital Thursday

Accused found hiding on the 5th floor of the hospital

Rienna Nagel, 36, was found dead in her house on May 3 in Spruce Grove. Police have charged her husband, 36-year-old Christopher Ray Nagel, with first-degree murder. (Supplied, Facebook)

A Spruce Grove man accused of killing his wife went missing for five hours Tuesday night after escaping from guards at the University of Alberta hospital.

Christopher Nagel, 36, was charged on Sunday with first-degree murder in the death of Rienna Nagel, 36. He now faces a charge of escaping lawful custody. 

Police say Nagel was under watch by a remand guard in a room on the second floor when he asked to use the washroom. He went into a shared washroom with doors to two separate rooms and went into the other room. 

Justice Minister and Solicitor General Jonathan Denis confirmed that Nagel was discovered hiding on the 5th floor of the hospital at 2:15 a.m. Nagel is now back in custody. 

"To the best of our knowledge, the inmate did not leave the hospital," Denis said. "No one, including the other patients and hospital staff, were injured."

In a news conference Wednesday, Denis apologized for the incident and said that he has ordered a full investigation. Denis said that Nagel had asked a corrections officer to remove his restraints so he could use the washroom.

"This inmate should not have been allowed to escape from the correctional officers. Period," Denis said. 

Rienna Nagel was found dead in her Spruce Grove home on Saturday morning.  A man was taken out of the house on a stretcher and loaded onto an ambulance.

Christopher Nagel didn't appear in person or by CCTV at a court appearance in Stony Plain on Wednesday. Crown prosecutor Doug Taylor said Nagel is in hospital "recovering from a wound."