Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods
Great Escapes and Manhunts
Climbed Up and Out the Pipes
Climbed Up and Out the Pipes
On August 24, 2008, eight inmates at the Curry County Adult Detention Center in Clovis, N.M., accessed the plumbing corridor separating their cells by using a key guards left while making repairs and returning it before the guards noticed. The inmates scaled the pipes to the roof of the jail and escaped through a hole they cut with a makeshift tool fashioned from metal they found in the corridor.

The escape was noticed almost immediately; two escapees were spotted immediately walking by a policeman a few blocks from the jail, still wearing prison trousers. One of the two was captured in the ensuing chase. Two more were recaptured the next day following tips from the public, one in Lubbock, Texas, and the other in Cactus, Texas. A fourth escapee was recaptured still in Clovis on August 28, but the other four remained elusive. The escapees were featured on the September 6 episode of America's Most Wanted, but no leads were immediately forthcoming. The manhunt focused on the area cities known to be haunts of some of the escapees. The fifth escapee was captured on October 3 after attempting to negotiate his surrender in exchange for police dropping charges against his mother, who had been charged with aiding a fugitive, and a tip was received which led to the apprehension of the sixth escapee in Amarillo, Texas a day later. The seventh escapee was identified by a customer at a hardware store in Clovis and arrested in the parking lot in December. The eighth escapee, though, convicted murderer Edward Salas (pictured), who was in jail pending transfer to the New Mexico Department of Corrections following a conviction for his role in the murder of a 10-year-old boy, is still at large.
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