Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Manhunt Underway for Detroit Prisoner who Used Identity Scam to Escape

Rocky Marquez

Rocky Marquez

Authorities in Detroit are searching for Rocky Marquez, 34, who has escaped from prison by switching identity wristbands with a prisoner scheduled to be released on bond. On January 20, 2013, Marquez reportedly walked right out the front door of the Wayne County jail. Nobody noticed that he was missing for five days. Marquez, whose rap sheet includes drug smuggling, perjury and witness tampering, was awaiting extradition to Arizona where he used the same tactic to escape from Phoenix’s Lower Buckeye Jail in May 2012.

It seems that in each case Marquez found a prisoner scheduled to be released on bond, who had a similar look and build. He then simply assumed that prisoner’s identity and, when the time came for that prisoner’s release, Marquez was released instead. According to Deputy U.S. Marshal Frederick J. Freeman, “He’s smarter than your average criminal. He’s somehow getting inmates to cooperate with him to use their identities to walk out of jail,” though why anyone about to be released would willingly trade identities with Marquez is the question currently baffling prison authorities.

Freeman is confident that Marquez will soon be behind bars again, “Mr. Marquez does have a bit of a head start, but we have the best of the best working on this case and I’m confident Rocky will be put behind bars.” While Marshalls carry on the manhunt, prison officials will continue their investigation into the events surrounding Marquez’ escape to keep others from escaping this way — and to keep Marquez in custody if and when they catch him.

The last time he was apprehended Marquez was armed with a loaded AK-47. He should be considered armed and dangerous. Anyone with any knowledge of his whereabouts should not try to apprehend him, but should instead contact police.

 Slideshow: Great Escapes and Manhunts

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