OTERO COUNTY, N.M. - Police searched for four escaped inmates who broke out of county jail Tuesday night, following only a trail of footprints and discarded clothing, reports CBS affiliate KKTV. However, on Wednesday afternoon, authorities had already recaptured three of the escapees.
According to the Otero County sheriff, police searched all night long for 30-year-old Johnny Nunez, 23-year-old Angel Castrejon, 22-year-old Malcolm Hoffert and 21-year-old Curtis Apodaca.
The four men escaped around 8 p.m. after rushing a detention officer and then fighting with a second deputy before fleeing the county jail and heading north, authorities said. They left a trail of footprints which was eventually lost amid tough terrain. Sheriff Chris Johnson said that law enforcement agencies used air assets to attempt to track the escapees' heat signatures.
Apodaca was caught at 10 a.m. Wednesday, followed by Hoffert at 11:30 a.m. and Nunez just before noon. Authorities would not say how or where the men were captured.
Meanwhile, Castrejon is the only inmate still at large.
All four men were in the county jail awaiting court dates on unrelated cases, KKTV reports. Castrejon was charged with drug-related offenses, escape and bond violation; Nunez was charged with burglary and forgery; Apodaca was charged with drug-related offenses and accessory to a crime; Hoffert was charged with motor vehicle theft.
The sheriff's office and the Department of Corrections have been carrying out the search for the inmates, with help from the National Guard.