San Diego County

2 Merced County Jail Escapees Captured in San Diego Area, 3 More Still Loose

The six inmates escaped Merced County Downtown Jail Saturday using what authorities described as a "homemade rope"

Photos of Merced County jail escapees
U.S. Marshals Service

Three of six inmates who used a "homemade rope" to escape from a jail in central California were arrested Tuesday, including two who were taken into custody in the San Diego area, authorities confirmed.

Edgar Eduardo Ventura, 22, of Portland, Oregon, was captured in the Firebaugh area, about 40 miles west of Fresno, the Merced County Sheriff's Office said in a Facebook post. It provided no other information, and a call to the office went unanswered.

Hours later, at around 8:30 p.m. Fabian Cruz Roman, 22, of Planada, California, and Andres Nunez Rodriguez, 21, of Los Banos, California, were captured in San Diego without incident.

Roman is in custody on murder charges and Rodriguez is facing attempted murder charges, according to the U.S. Marshalls Service.

Ventura was in jail on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm, participation in a criminal street gang and a probation violation.

No further information about the inmates' captures was released.

Staff at Merced County Downtown Jail noticed late Saturday that the six inmates were missing, the sheriff's office said.

“A preliminary investigation has determined that the inmates were able to gain access to the roof of the facility and utilize a homemade rope to scale down the side of the jail,” the post said.

All but one of the suspects have been charged with violent felonies, including murder.

Authorities have set up a tip line with the U.S. Marshals Service and is offering a $5,000 reward for each fugitive.

The outstanding fugitives were identified as Jorge Barron, 20, of Atwater; Gabriel Francis Coronado, 19, of Atwater; and Manuel Allen Leon, 21, of Vallejo. There is no information suggesting they could be in the San Diego area.

Barron is described as 5 feet 5 inches tall and 140 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. He is facing probation violation charges, according to U.S. Marshals.

Coronado is described as 5 feet 10 inches tall and 225 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. His charges include attempted murder, participating in a criminal street gang and firearm posession.

Leon is described as 5 feet 10 inches tall and 165 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. He faces charges of assault with a firearm, participating in a criminal street gang, and carrying a loaded firearm.

They should be considered armed and dangerous, officials said, and anyone who spots them is asked not to approach them and immediately call 911.

You can also leave a tip online or at 1-877-WANTED-2 (1-877-926-8332).

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