SANTA ANA, Calif. The search for a trio of escaped Orange County inmates entered its third day, law enforcement officials called on the local Vietnamese community to aid in the hunt after an investigator said he believes the escapees may be hunkered down in the area.
Jonathan Tieu, 20, Bac Duong, 43, and Hossein Nayeri, 37, were all discovered missing at the Central Men’s Jail in downtown Santa Ana around 9 p.m. Friday, after cutting through at least four layers of steel and rebar to reach the facility’s roof, from which they rappelled down and escaped.
On Monday, the man spearheading the investigation identified Tieu as a documented Vietnamese gang member and called on local community leaders to help police flush him out.
“We sincerely need input from the community to help us put these three dangerous individuals back into custody,” said Orange County Sheriff’s Lt. Dave Sawyer, who is leading the probe into the escape.
Investigators don’t believe the escapees have fled the country or state. Based on Tieu and Duong’s connections to the area, Sawyer said investigators believe the escapees “may be embedded somewhere in the community.”
Sheriff’s officials made pleas for public assistance in English and Vietnamese on Monday morning, more than 60 hours after the men were discovered missing on Friday.