SAN JOSE, Calif. — One of two inmates who sawed their way out of a Northern California county jail and vanished last week was recaptured late Tuesday after he crashed through a ceiling while hiding from police in his sister’s attic, officials said Wednesday.
Santa Clara County Undersheriff Carl Neusel said Laron Campbell, 26, was arrested by the U.S. Marshals Service and Antioch police.
Campbell’s sister, Marcaysha Alexander, 24, was also arrested on suspicion of harboring a fugitive.
Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Sgt. Mike Glennon said authorities received “numerous tips” that helped authorities locate Campbell after Sheriff Laurie Smith announced a $20,000 reward for information leading to the fugitives’ recapture.
Authorities are still searching for Rogelio Chavez, who was awaiting trial on several felony charges, including burglary, extortion, false imprisonment, resisting arrest and firearms violations.
Campbell has been in jail since February 2015 on felony charges that include robbery, false imprisonment and making criminal threats.
Chavez and Campbell escaped with two other prisoners the night before Thanksgiving by cutting through bars covering a second-story window and then rappelling to the ground on a rope fashioned from bedsheets. The two other prisoners were quickly apprehended.
But Chavez and Campbell eluded a massive manhunt that night and several subsequent raids of places the two were thought hiding, including a San Jose mobile home that heavily armed deputies surrounded early Tuesday with no success.
In the process, a 35-year-old San Jose woman was arrested on suspicion of helping Chavez hide in a Gilroy motel raided Monday.
Glennon said Campbell was tracked to his sister’s home on Monday and authorities with the U.S. Marshals Service and Antioch Police launched a stake out. Glennon said a raid was planned for Tuesday night and a warrant obtained after officials spotted Campbell in the house.
Glennon said Campbell fled into the home’s attic when authorities burst into the house. But he came crashing down through the flimsy roof shortly after and was taken into custody without further incident.
Glennon said authorities are looking into where Campbell spent his week on the lam and investigating if he received help beyond the alleged assistance of his sister.
Chavez and Campbell are facing possible life sentences if convicted of their pending charges. They are also expected to face new charges related to their escapes.