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Manhunt underway for two murder suspects who escaped Monterey County jail

salazar and fonseca.jpg
Jonathan Salazar, left, and Santos Samuel Fonseca escaped from the Monterey County Adult Detention Facility early Sunday, authorities said.
(Monterey County Sheriff’s Office)

A manhunt continues Monday for two men who escaped from jail in Monterey County a day earlier while awaiting trial on murder charges, authorities said.

Santos Samuel Fonseca, 21, and Jonathan Salazar, 20, were being held at Monterey County Adult Detention Facility in Salinas when they escaped early Sunday, according to the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office.

The Sheriff’s Office did not describe how the two broke out of the jail, which holds more than 1,000 inmates, or what time they were discovered missing.

“An investigation is underway to determine their means of escape but, at this time, we can provide no details on that topic,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. “Our focus, and resources, are dedicated to locating and returning Fonseca and Salazar to custody.”

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Sheriff’s officials are offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to their capture. Fonseca is 5 feet 7 inches and 150 pounds; Salazar is 5 feet 7 inches and 170 pounds. They both have black hair and brown eyes.

Both men had been in custody since last year in connection with separate slayings in Salinas. Fonseca was charged with two counts of first-degree murder in a pair of shootings that occurred four days apart and killed Lorenzo Gomez Acosta, 37, and Ernesto Garcia Cruz, 27. Acosta was talking to his wife, who was in Mexico, on the phone when he was gunned down in his car in Salinas. Cruz was killed in El Dorado Park, the Salinas Californian reported.

Salazar was charged in the death of Jaime Martinez, 20, who was shot in October 2017 while driving with his girlfriend and young son, the newspaper reported.

Salazar and Fonseca have pleaded not guilty to the charges against them and were scheduled to go to trial next year, court records show.

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Authorities are encouraging anyone who sees the men to call 911 and not to approach them. Anyone with information about their whereabouts is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at (831) 755-3722.


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