Escaped murder suspects arrested trying to re-enter US in San Ysidro

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MONTEREY, Calif. — Two murder suspects who escaped from a Northern California jail last weekend were captured by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in San Ysidro.

Santos Samuel Fonseca, 21, and Jonathan Salazar, 20, found a blind spot in their housing unit at Monterey County Jail and cut a hole in their bathroom ceiling to escape on Sunday, Nov. 3, authorities said.

The pair was arrested by CBP at the U.S.-Mexico border as they tried to re-enter the country from the Tijuana area around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, said Capt. John Thornburg of the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office.

It wasn’t immediately clear how the two ended up in Mexico or why they wanted to come back to America, but they were arrested while trying to use the pedestrian crossing at San Ysidro Port of Entry, CBP confirmed.

The pair tried to present themselves to processing officers, but their arrest warrants showed up in the system. Officers took them to an area for questioning, got in touch with Monterey sheriff’s officials and ultimately made the arrests.

Fonseca and Salazar were transferred back into custody in Northern California, where they will be incarcerated at the same jail but under a higher level of security, according to Thornburg. The facility they escaped was also fortified with new security measures.

The pair had been in custody since 2018 and were awaiting trial on unrelated murder charges.

After they climbed through their ceiling, officials said they made their way through a hatch and kicked open a back door to escape. Employees were not suspected of helping the inmates, the sheriff’s office said.

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