SPRINGFIELD — Emails show police had prior contact with a man they would later arrested on suspicion of murder and had instructed him to return to a state mental health facility.

Emails between Springfield Police Department and the Oregon Psychiatric Security Review Board obtained by The Register-Guard show that police located Joshua Jaschke in December, the newspaper reported. Police later contacted mental health worker Kenneth Roders who asked police to release Jaschke.

"They asked to speak with him and came up with the remedy for him to return on his own," Sgt. David Lewis said.

After Jaschke had not returned, the board asked police in January for assistance in finding him.

"We were taking it seriously, because we know of his history and our concern was that he had had this unprovoked (2006) attack with a knife, so we were taking it seriously," McKee said Tuesday. "But also we need to have some action from them. It was like, 'Hey, we'll get him if you can give us something that's actionable. Revoke his pass and activate a warrant.'"

Records show Jaschke was being treated at Oregon State Psychiatric Hospital in Salem before police found him. It is unclear whether Jaschke had been released from the mental health hospital on a furlough.

"We cannot acknowledge patient status or discuss any one person's treatment," Oregon Health Authority spokesman Jonathan Modie said, citing health privacy laws. "I can also tell you that if someone is on unauthorized leave, when they are under PSRB jurisdiction, and the PSRB has placed them in the hospital (this includes if they are under a revocation order), the hospital always works with local law enforcement to bring them back," Modie said in an email last week.

Jaschke was previously sentenced to 20 years of supervision by the board in 2006, after he was found guilty but insane on a first-degree assault charge for stabbing another man in Springfield, according to reports. Police arrested Jaschke arrested him on suspicion of killing 51-year-old Spiros Steve Ghenatos and attempting car theft late March.