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Hunt for killer wrongly freed in Ill.

CHICAGO — Authorities in Illinois and Indiana searched Friday for a convicted murderer who was mistakenly released from custody in Chicago, with the two sides differing over whether a paperwork error could be to blame.

Steven L. Robbins, 44, was released Wednesday evening from a jail in Chicago, where he had been taken to answer to drug and armed violence charges in Cook County Circuit Court. Those charges were dropped, and Robbins was freed instead of being sent back to Indiana to continue serving a 60-year murder sentence. The public was not alerted that a potentially dangerous convict was on the loose until about 24 hours later.

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Indiana’s Department of Corrections said in a news release that ‘‘for reasons yet unknown, the offender was released by Illinois authorities without being held for return.’’

The department submitted paperwork telling Illinois officials Robbins was supposed to be returned to Indiana.

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