NEW YORK (PIX11) – A murder suspect in New York City was mistakenly set free due to a clerical error in court paperwork — before he was eventually tracked down and rearrested, according to sources.

Freedom was brief for Sheldon Dottin, a 49-year-old murder suspect. A clerical error at Queens Criminal Court set him free on Wednesday during a hearing on murder charges, according to sources. He was able to walk out the front doors.

Dottin is accused of killing his ex-girlfriend’s 72-year-old father inside the victim’s home in Queens last year. He went on the run after the murder and was tracked down in Panama a few months later, according to authorities. He was extradited back to the United States and sat in Rikers for more than a year.

After authorities realized they mistakenly released Dottin on Wednesday, they called in the Regional Fugitive Task Force. They found Dottin early Thursday morning inside an apartment building on Hegeman Avenue in East New York, Brooklyn. He was rearrested and taken back to court.

The New York City Department of Correction received the green light from the court to release Dottin, that his indictment had been dismissed, according to sources.

However, a statement from the New York Unified Court System provided the following explanation.

“Sheldon Dottin was returned on an arrest warrant to Queens Supreme Court on August 30, 2022. At that time, a judge remanded him and held him without bail. That securing order has been in place since then and has not changed.

Yesterday at the request of the Queens County DA, a Criminal Court judge dismissed a complaint and arrest warrant that had been filed in that Court to effectuate the return of the defendant to court and was no longer necessary.

Court staff issued paperwork to DOC indicating that the defendant was no longer being held on that matter but indicating that he should continue to be held if there were ‘warrants, detainers or other charges lodged against the defendant.’

Clearly there were and still are other charges pending against the defendant and DOC has the Supreme Court securing order remanding the defendant. He should not have been released.”

New York Unified Court System