RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — As the search for an escape prisoner continues, the Virginia jail where they were incarcerated is responding to allegations of faulty locks.
Alder Alfonso Marin-Sotelo escaped from a regional jail in Virginia on Sunday. It took jail staff more than 24 hours to discover he was missing. He was being held at the Piedmont Regional Jail in Farmville, Virginia.
Marin-Sotelo is charged with murder in the shooting death of Wake County Sheriff’s Deputy Ned Byrd. He was being held at the jail on federal weapons charges. He is considered armed and dangerous. There is currently a $70,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.
Twenty-two hours after he escaped, another inmate, Bruce Callahan, also broke out of the facility.
The Piedmont Regional Jail Authority Board issued a statement Thursday saying they wanted to clarify information being disseminated by media outlets, including CBS 17.
Documents from the Piedmont Regional Jail board described security issues showing several pods had failing locking systems. Those documents also showed Piedmont Regional Jail officials detailed the need to replace the locks on cell doors.
The board said Thursday that initial findings suggested that the inmates were able to breach an exterior door at the facility.
Piedmont Regional Jail staff confirmed that Marin-Sotelo was no longer present at the facility and that he was not released by the facility.
“While it is true that the Piedmont Regional Jail Authority Board has discussed door lock replacement in previous meetings, such discussions pertained to interior doors in a different housing pod from which the inmates escaped. The replacement of these interior locks is part of the capital improvement plan for the jail,” the authority said.
The Department of Justice said Alder Marin-Sotelo and his sister Adriana Marin-Sotelo arranged the purchase of a getaway car for Alder. The DOJ initially said a red Mustang was left in the jail parking lot which Alder then used to get away.
The jail authority board responded to that claim saying, “…Contrary to reports, the vehicle which Mr. Marin-Sotelo was apparently able to access was not parked on jail property, but rather in a lot offsite.”
The board said jail management was working to ensure that ]a thorough investigation was performed and any personnel or facility issues identified would be remedied immediately.
Adriana Marin-Sotelo was charged with supplying a getaway car to help her brother escape. A criminal complaint says that Adriana Marin-Sotelo conspired to assist an escape between April 29 and May 1.