One of two murder suspectswho escapeda central California jail over the weekend was believed to have beenspotted at a motel on Tuesday, but apparently managed to escape before police arrived, a report said.
After about eighthours of trying to make contact with the escapee believed inside aMotel 6 in the town of Marina, located about 110 miles south of San Francisco, police SWAT deployed a flash grenade and raided what turned out to be an empty motel room, the Monterey County Sheriffs Office said.
2 CALIFORNIA MURDER SUSPECTS ESCAPE FROM JAIL PROMPTING FRANTIC SEARCH
Deputies responded to the motel around 11:30 a.m. after an employee reported that 20-year-old Jonathan Salazar was hiding out in the building, San Franciscos KPIX-TV reported.
Salazar, along with 21-year-old Santos Fonseca, on Sunday escaped through a hole in the roof of a cells bathroom at the Adult Detention Facility in the neighboring town of Salinas. Both men had been jailed since 2018 and were awaiting trial on unrelated murder counts.
Weve searched the room and he is not here, Capt. John Thornburg of the Monterey County Sheriffs Office told KPIX-TV. Im confident nobody left the motel after we got here, so that time between them calling and us getting here he apparently did leave.
We have a strong belief that he was here, OK, from the witness or the person that called, the interviews we conducted, he continued. Its disappointing.I mean, weve been out here for hours, and, you know, people are waiting and were trying to do everything we can to locate this person along with the other gentleman and take him into custody.
Authorities evacuated the motel and a nearby restaurant while the scene unfolded. Police SWAT arrived by 6 p.m. and used a bullhorn to call out both in English and Spanish All occupants of Room 235, come out with your hands up, Oakland, Calif.s Fox 2 reported.
They deployed a flash grenade around 7 p.m. before raiding the hotel room. The police K9 unit used dogs to search the rest of the building.
On Sunday, Salazar and Fonseca made a hole measuring about 8 inches high and 22 inches wide in a bathroom ceiling of their jails housing unit, just within the guards blind spot. The two then slipped into the jails walls, maneuvering past ducts and pipes in a maintenance access area until they reached an escape hatch, authorities said.Both are considered armed and dangerous.
Salazar was arrested in connection with the October 2017 shooting death of 20-year-old Jaime Martinez. Martinez was fatally shot while he was driving in Salinas with his girlfriend and 18-month-old son, the Californian newspaper in Salinas reported. The woman was also shot and treated at a hospital, while the child wasnt hurt. Police investigated the case as gang-related.
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Fonseca is accused of shooting and killing Lorenzo Gomez Acosta, 37, on June 2, 2018, while the victim sat in his car on a video call with his wife in Mexico, the newspaper reported. Fonseca told police that his gang leader told him to kill someone to prove he was still loyal to the Boronda gang, Detective Gabriela Contreras testified. Acosta was reportedly chosen at random.
Three days later, Fonseca allegedly shot and killed Ernesto Garcia Cruz, 27, in a Salinas park. Authorities said he told police that the gang leader also ordered the slaying and that he picked his girlfriends ex-boyfriend to send him a message, according to the newspaper.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.B:
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