Murder suspect escapes from Monterey County Jail

Peninsula Premier Admin

SALINAS — A suspect awaiting trial in a Greenfield murder case escaped the Monterey County Jail Monday afternoon, according to the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office.

Luis Armando Sarabia, 23, was arrested in January 2019 in connection to the death of Charles Adolfo Jose. According to the Sheriff’s Office, Sarabia is a 22-year-old Hispanic man, who stands at 5-foot-10 and weighs about 240 pounds.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Sarabia is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 831-755-6276. Chief Deputy John Thornburg said the Sheriff’s Office considers Sarabia to be dangerous and the public should call 911 and avoid contacting Sarabia if they spot him.

Thornburg said Sarabia escaped around 3 p.m. Monday and officials discovered he was missing about three hours later. The inmate was in the yard on the roof of one of the jail’s buildings when he hid from guards and escaped.

“It looks like somebody distracted the deputy and he was able to hide and conceal himself on the yard and then he escaped over the fence,” Thornburg said.

Inmates provided a cover story for Sarabia, Thornburg said, as he escaped. After deputies discovered he was gone, they were able to discover Sarabia’s path out by watching footage from security cameras. He shed his jail uniform during his escape.

“He pretty much discarded everything on the roof of the jail,” Thornburg said of Sarabia’s clothes, explaining his jail-issued boxer shorts were all the clothes he had left. “We think he went over the fence across the top of one of the buildings of the main jail and then down by where the receiving area is.”

The Sheriff’s Office served search warrants in Salinas and King City looking for Sarabia and Thornburg said detectives are working to track him down.

Two murder suspects escaped from the jail in November 2019 and were arrested at the U.S./Mexico border days later. The Sheriff’s Office said at that time that Santos Fonseca and Jonathan Salazar exploited a “blind spot” in the hallway of the jail housing unit where they were awaiting trial on murder and other charges, then made a 22-inch by 8-inch hole through sheetrock and metal screening in a bathroom ceiling.

Thornburg said the circumstances of the two escapes are very different but the Sheriff’s Office will investigate how Sarabia was able to escape.

Contributed by local news sources

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