SANDOVAL COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) – Sandoval County Sheriff’s Department says two inmates escaped from the Sandoval County Detention Center Friday night.
According to the Sandoval County Sheriff’s Department, one of the escaped inmates is Paul Garcia, the man facing murder charges for his role in the stolen van crash that killed an Albuquerque mother and daughter.
Blake McPherson, who deputies say was in jail for auto theft and weapons-related charges also escaped from the detention center. Deputies believe the two men escaped together but later split up.
Officials say the inmates were last seen in the detention center around 7 p.m. Friday night around 11:30 p.m. and it was discovered that Blake McPherson was missing during a headcount, said Lt. Elder with the Sandoval County Sheriff’s Department.
At that point, officials say the jail was placed on lockdown to run a confirmatory headcount. That is when they discovered Paul Garcia was also missing.
The preliminary investigation points to the two inmates having escaped from an outdoor recreation yard, according to Lt. Elder.
He says McPherson and Garcia were tracked from the detention center to just west of the Warrior Fuel Truck Stop, where they believe the men changed their clothes.
The men were then tracked east to the Rio Grande river and then north of Highway 550 where search crews lost track of the inmates.
Deputies say McPherson was captured Saturday morning in the northeast Albuquerque area.
Paul Garcia remains at large and should be considered dangerous and possibly armed.
Anyone with information on Garcia’s whereabouts is asked to call authorities.