Monday, September 29, 2008

Clovis, NM: Eight Prisoners Escape, Four Still Free

A pig investigating last month's escape of eight jail inmates says prisoners probably stole a key left in a door by a corrections officer doing plumbing work at the time, then returned it before anyone noticed.

Four inmates remain at large after escaping from a hole cut in the roof of the Curry County jail in Clovis on Aug. 24.

The most likely explanation was that two days before the escape, an inmate took a key that had been left hanging in the lock of a door where two detention officers were fixing a clogged toilet. The door was to an area housing pipes, and the key opened similar compartments elsewhere in the jail.

Two inmates snitched to agent Dan Aguilar of the district attorney's office that the key was then passed into a separate unit at the jail and used to unlock other doors that housed plumbing fixtures before being returned to the initial door within about 10 minutes. The captors never realized the key was missing.

The officer who unlocked the door told the agent he didn't think he had left the key in the door but wasn't certain. He said the scenario the inmates described "was possible," the report said.

The eight inmates escaped by climbing into an unlocked plumbing compartment and cutting a hole in the roof.

The tools the inmates used to cut through the roof were fashioned out of scraps of metal they found in a plumbing compartment, left behind from previous repair work.

Four were caught within a week. The other four remain on the loose.

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