According to authorities, they were able to get past security points in at least three areas, getting away by cutting through half-inch steel bars, making their way through plumbing tunnels and then rappelling from the roof to the ground using a makeshift rope made of bed sheets.
How they got the tools for the breakout and how they went undetected is still unknown.
Sheriff’s Department officials on Sunday offered details about the escape and the manhunt -- and also shared some photos about how it all happened. Jonathan Tieu, 20, Bac Duong, 43, and Hossein Nayeri, 37, were discovered missing from the jail on Friday. Tieu is charged with murder, Duong with attempted murder and Nayeri with kidnapping and torture.
Here are some images shared by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department:
Scene of the crime
The exterior of Central Men’s Jail in Santa Ana. It was built in 1968 and currently houses 900+ male inmates. (Orange County Sheriff’s Office)
Where the escape began
This photo shows a cell and a vent screen that had been cut, near the floor at center rear, at the jail where the inmates were housed. (Orange County Sheriff’s Office)
Cutting the screen
A closeup view of the vent screen that had been cut and removed inside a cell at Central Men’s Jail in Santa Ana.(Orange County Sheriff’s Office)
Rope used in escape
A cord made of an undetermined fabric that facilitated the escape of the three inmates.(Orange County Sheriff’s Office)
Rappelled to the ground
Razor wire was removed from a parapet, center rear, and a rope-like line, seen at right, that authorities believe three inmates used to rappel to the ground during their escape. (Orange County Sheriff’s Office)
Shelby Grad contributed to this report.