California jail escapees have been captured

Two murder suspects who escaped from a Northern California jail by cutting a hole in a ceiling over the weekend have been captured, authorities said Wednesday.

Santos Samuel Fonseca, 21, and Jonathan Salazar, 20, were arrested by US Customs and Border Protection, the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office said.

Details about the arrests weren’t immediately available. The sheriff’s office said it would hold a news conference late Wednesday morning.

Authorities reported Fonseca and Salazar missing from the Monterey County Adult Detention Facility on Sunday.

The two inmates identified a blind spot in their housing unit and cut through the sheet rock and metal screen to make a 22-inch hole in the bathroom ceiling, Capt. John Thornburg, a sheriff’s office spokesman, told reporters Monday.

They then climbed through the ceiling and came down through a hatch that leads to a back door, he said. It appears they kicked the back door open and left the jail on foot, Thornburg said.

Employees were not involved in helping the men escape, Thornburg said.

The men had been in custody since 2018, awaiting trial on unrelated murder charges and felony offenses, authorities said.

Monterey County is south of San Jose, on the Pacific coast.