Monterey, California — Two murder suspects escaped from a central California jail Sunday and officials were trying to determine how they managed to get away even as they tried to track them down.
The Monterey County Sheriff's Office warned the public the men should be considered dangerous and offered a $5,000 reward for information that leads to their arrests, reports CBS Monterey affiliate KION-TV.
The escape from the county's high security Adult Detention Facility occurred in the early morning, according to the sheriff's office.
Santos Fonseca, 21, and Jonathan Salazar, 20, had been in custody since 2018 and were awaiting trial on unrelated murder counts "along with numerous other felony charges," a sheriff's statement said. The office also said the other counts were violent in nature:
The New York Times reports the murders both men are charged with were gang-related.
"An investigation is underway to determine their means of escape but, at this time, we can provide no details on that topic," the statement said. "Our focus, and resources, are dedicated to locating and returning Fonseca and Salazar to custody."
KION-TV quoted Monterey County Undersheriff John Mineau as saying, "During the search we found some of their inmate clothing just outside of the perimeter. We know that they did make it outside of the jail."
He added, "These guys were in jail for murder, so we need to consider them" threats to the public.
Sheriff's deputies warned community members to keep their distance if they see them and call 911 immediately.
The last escape from the facility happened five years ago when an inmate climbed out of a ventilation duct at the jail's rehabilitation center, KION-TV says. He was recaptured.
Monterey is a city of about 28,000 people on California's central coast, 100 miles south of San Francisco.