Murder suspects who escaped California jail captured – USA TODAY

Jonathan Salazar, left, and Santos Samuel Fonseca escaped from jail.

SALINAS, Calif. –Two murder suspects who escaped from the Monterey County Jail in California on Sunday were captured.

Santos Samuel Fonseca, 21, and Jonathan Salazar, 20, were locked up at the jail, facing murder charges in separate cases. 

They escaped by creating a hole in the ceiling, going through a maintenance gap and kicking open a hatch blocked by construction, said Capt. John Thornburg with the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office at a news conference Monday.

The sheriff’s office announced Wednesday morning that both suspects were arrested. Sheriff’s detectives took them back to Monterey County, the sheriff’s office wrote on Facebook. 

Salinas police said Salazar was with La Posada Trece, a subset of the Sureño gang.

Fonseca allegedly committed two murders on behalf of the Boronda Boys Norteño subset, police said.


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How they escaped

They escaped the jail Sunday morning through a 22-by-8-inch hole they cut in the ceiling of a communal bathroom, Thornburg said. That hole was in a blind spot from jail cameras.

After climbing into the hole, they made their way through an 11-inch gap between two interior walls with plumbing pipes. They kicked open a hatch, which was obscured by construction on the jail’s renovation, and climbed over a construction fence, Thornburg said. 

What the men are accused of

Salazar and a teenager were arrested last summer on suspicion that they fatally shot Jaime Ortiz Martinez, 20. 

When the shooting occurred, Martinez was in a vehicle with his girlfriend and their 18-month-old son, said Iwa Martinez, a relative speaking on behalf of the family in 2017.

After the shooting, Martinez crashed into a parking barricade at the end of the street. The woman was shot in the cheek and taken to a hospital where she was treated and released. The child was uninjured.

Fonseca faces two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Lorenzo Gomez Acosta, 37, on June 2, 2018,  and Ernesto Garcia Cruz, 27, on June 5, 2018.

He was 19 years old when police arrested him and his girlfriend Alexandra Romayor, 18.

At the time of the first shooting, Acosta was in the driver’s seat of a parked tan Nissan Maxima on a FaceTime video call with his wife in Mexico.

Three days later, Cruz was in a parked car when he was approached by a gunman and fatally shot.

Police said Romayor had the handgun used in both shootings in her purse. In June, she was sentenced to 15 years to life after pleading no contest to second-degree murder in Cruz’s death and being an accessory to a gun charge in the shooting of Acosta.

Follow Chelcey Adami on Twitter: @adami_salnew

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