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Crime Homicide suspects 'exploited' blind spot to escape jail, authorities say

00:20  05 november  2019
00:20  05 november  2019 Source:   abcnews.go.com

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(AP) — Authorities say two murder suspects have escaped from central California's Monterey County Jail . The county sheriff's office says in a tweet that the inmates escaped Sunday morning. The tweet says Santos Fonseca and Jonathan Salazar were in custody on suspicion of murder and other violent

The two homicide suspects who escaped from a California jail over the weekend, were able to "exploit" a "blind spot" in the facility, according to authorities.

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Authorities are fanning out across Central California after two murder suspects escaped from jail in Monterey on Sunday. Santos Fonseca, 21, and Jonathan Salazar, 20, escaped from custody of the Monterey County Sheriff's Office, the office said .

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Santos Fonseca, 21, and Jonathan Salazar, 20, escaped from the Monterey County Jail in Salinas, a city about 60 miles south of San Jose, in the early mornin a dirty window: A photo released by authorities shows a hatch leading to the outside used by murder suspects Jonathan Salazar and Santos Fonseca to escape from the Monterey County Adult Detention Facility in Salinas, Calif., early on Nov. 3, 2019.© Monterey County Sheriff A photo released by authorities shows a hatch leading to the outside used by murder suspects Jonathan Salazar and Santos Fonseca to escape from the Monterey County Adult Detention Facility in Salinas, Calif., early on Nov. 3, 2019. g hours on Sunday but were not reported missing until about 8:15 a.m., Capt. John Thornburg, public information officer for the Monterey Sheriff's Office, told reporters during a press conference Monday.

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Fonseca and Salazar were able to create a hole about 22 inches wide in the ceiling above a bathroom in their housing unit, which enabled them to climb in and work their way through, Thornburg said.

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On the other side of the bathroom wall, which is a space that houses pipes for plumbing, they kicked in a hatch that led to the outside. Since the jail is under construction, the outdoor area was covered in construction fencing, rather than security fencing with barbed wire, and the two were able to leave the jail's grounds, Thornburg said.

The vulnerability is unique to the unit that the pair was being housed in, and maintenance crews are currently addressing how to fix it, Thornburg said.

The jail experienced another escape about five years ago, but in that case, the inmate climbed through a ventilation duct in a different housing unit, Thornburg said.

Authorities are investigating how long they were planning their escape. When asked whether they had help on the inside by employees, Thornburg replied, "absolutely not."

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Authorities say 25-year-old Donnovan Lewis escaped from the jail around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday by scaling two 15-foot fences while outside for recreation. He was captured about 30 minutes later. On Friday, Lewis was arraigned on a charge of felony escape in connection to Wednesday’s incident.

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Fonseca and Salazar were both arrested by the Salinas Police Department for homicide and other violent crimes, Thornburg said.

Fonseca was booked on June 7, 2018, for charges of murder and attempted robbery on a $2.25 million bond, according to court records. He allegedly shot and killed two people earlier that month, The Californian reported.

Salazar was arrested on July 7, 2018 for a murder that was committed in October 2017, according to the Salinas Police Department. He and an unnamed minor were charged with killing a man and attempting to murder his girlfriend after Salazar allegedly fired into the couple's car with their 18-month-old child inside, The Californian reported. The child was not injured in the shooting.

Other charges Salazar was being held on include vehicle theft, conspiracy to commit a crime, violation of probation and possession of a stolen vehicle, according to court records.

a man posing for the camera: Monterey County Jail inmates Santos Fonseca, left, and Jonathan Salazar, right, escaped from custody on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019. Both men are charged with murder.© Monterey County Sheriffs Office Monterey County Jail inmates Santos Fonseca, left, and Jonathan Salazar, right, escaped from custody on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019. Both men are charged with murder.

They were both born in Salinas and are affiliated with gangs, although it appears that they are affiliated with opposing gangs and did not have a connection prior to being jailed in the same unit, said Thornburg.

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Authorities are asking for the public's help locating them, but warned not to approach the suspects, who are considered to be armed and dangerous. They are currently wearing jail-issued clothing, he added.

A $5,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the inmates' arrest.

ABC News' Mark Osborne contributed to this report.

Police: Body found in Woodbridge; apparent homicide related to New Haven missing person .
WOODBRIDGE - Police in Woodbridge say they are investigating an 'apparent homicide' related to a missing person report from New Haven. Police say a body was discovered last evening in a wooded area off Woodfield Road, and it is 'related to a report of a missing person' that is being investigated by the New Haven Police Department. FOX61 has requested information from New Haven Police, but have so far had not commented on the investigation.Woodfield Road had been closed off by police this morning; it reopened shortly before 10 a.m. The road is heavily wooded with only a few homes.

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