Murder suspect who escaped jail turns himself in to police

SALINAS, Calif. (AP) — A murder suspect who escaped from Monterey County Jail in Salinas earlier this week turned himself in to police Wednesday.

Luis Armando Sarabia went to the King City Police Department and surrendered himself to authorities. The Sheriff’s Office then took custody of Sarabia, 23, and returned him to jail, Chief Deputy John Thornburg of the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office told the Monterey Herald.

Sarabia was in the yard on the roof of one of the jail’s buildings Monday when other inmates distracted the guards as Sarabia hid and later escaped, Thornburg said. Inmates later lied about Sarabia’s whereabouts until jail officials realized he was missing.

Sarabia was arrested in Greenfield in January 2019 in connection with the death of Charles Adolfo Jose and is awaiting trial.

Sarabia is the third inmate to escape from the Monterey County Jail in less than two years. In 2019, two murder suspects escaped from that jail 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.

“The biggest difference was one was in the yard and one was a housing unit,” Thornburg said, adding that the Sheriff’s Office will investigate how Sarabia was able to escape.