MONTEREY (CBS SF) — Two inmates accused of murder — Santos Fonseca and Jonathan Salazar — who escaped from a Monterey County jail were recaptured early Wednesday at the Mexico border as they attempted to sneak back into the United States, authorities said.
Monterey County Sheriff’s Captain John Thornburg said investigators had been tipped off that Fonseca and Salazar had fled to the Tijuana area.
“About midnight last night, the two individuals tried to walk back into the country down at the US-Mexico border,” Thornburg told reporters at a Wednesday morning news conference. “We had received information that they were in the area of Tijuana. Once we received that information, we notified Customs and Border Patrol agency and they were able to locate them trying to walk back into the country.”
Monterey County Sheriff news conference on escaped inmates
Escaped Inmates arrested by @cbp. Thank you to our federal law enforcement partners for your team work and assistance! Press conference today at 11am at the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office https://t.co/mOMBUebRkl pic.twitter.com/fl0Q92PoI3
— Monterey Co Sheriff (@MCoSheriff) November 6, 2019
Deputies took over custody of the escapees and they were currently en route back to Monterey County. Thornburg said Fonseca and Salazar will be housed in a solitary confinement unit of the jail.
“We will take every precaution to make sure we do not have another escape,” he said.
On Wednesday, deputies had surrounded a Motel 6 in Marina, Calif, after receiving a call from an employee that Salazar was in one of the rooms, but after an eight-hour SWAT standoff officers stormed the room and found it empty.
Inside the room, the television was still on and a small trash bin was emptied on the counter.
“Of course, hindsight being what it is, we got a very creditable report that we thought Mr. Salazar was in the Motel 6 in Marina,” Thornburg said. “That’s what last night was…She thought she had seen Mr. Salazar…We took investigative steps to confirm that…We got a warrant signed by a judge to go in and get him. Unfortunately, last night he wasn’t there.”
The Nov. 4 escape from the county’s Adult Detention Facility happened in the early morning when the two inmates dug a hole in a bathroom ceiling, wedged their way into a pipe-filled crawl space before escaping jail, authorities said.
Fonseca was being held on two counts of murder and attempted robbery, with bail set at $2.25 million.
He was arrested for a June 2018 shooting in the parking lot of El Dorado Park in Salinas and another fatal shooting three days earlier.
Salazar was arrested along with a 15-year-old male in July 2018 on charges stemming from a fatal October 2017 shooting in the 1500 block of Del Monte Avenue in Salinas.