The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Search for final escapee continues

 

December 9, 2008



Courtesy photo Curry County Adult Detention Center escapee, Louis Chavez, was captured Monday evening in Clovis.

It’s seven down, one to go.

With the capture of Louis Chavez, 19, Monday night at a local grocery store, only convicted child killer Edward Salas remains at large of the eight inmates who escaped from the Curry County Detention Center in August.

Curry County Undersheriff Wesley Waller said that even though more than three months have passed since the Aug. 24 escape, “it is still an active and priority investigation.”

While tight-lipped regarding specifics in the hunt for Salas, Waller said investigators have leads and continue to receive information on his whereabouts.

“We do have a number of locations that we’re still monitoring with the assistance of federal authorities, but (we) won’t specify where at this time,” Waller said.

Of all the escapees, “Edward (Salas) has the most to lose” by getting re-captured, Waller said.

In April, the 24-year-old was convicted of first-degree murder in the shooting of Clovis fifth-grader Carlos Perez. He was sentenced to life in prison.

Salas was among eight inmates police said stole a key to a plumbing closet from detention officers at the Curry County Adult Detention Center, scaled pipes and cut a hole in the roof of the jail. He was due to be transferred to the New Mexico Department of Corrections the day after the escape, officials said.

Anthony Lanaro, 24, who was with Chavez at the time of his capture in the parking lot of Lowe’s grocery store, was charged with harboring or aiding a felon, a felony, Waller said.

Lanaro is being held on a $5,000 bond, jail officials said.

Chavez told investigators he had only been in Clovis a couple of hours when he was captured, but Waller said law enforcement had information indicating he returned to the area more than a week ago.

Chavez also told investigators he had no knowledge of where the other escapees went after leaving the jail.

But Waller said information the police have contradicts those statements and there are indications that, “at some point since the escape, it’s a possibility that (Chavez and Salas) were together.”

Tips from the public have led to the capture of most of the fugitives.

In October, two escapees — one of which was 21-year-old homicide suspect Larry McClendon Jr. — were captured based on tips from the public, police said.

• Edward Salas is described as 5 feet, 5 inches tall, 180 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. He has a tattoo on his back that says “SALAS" and a tattoo on his right arm that says "LISA.”

A reward of $5,000 has been offered for information leading to his capture. Anyone with information about Salas’ whereabouts can contact Clovis/Curry County Crime Stoppers at 763-7000.

On the web: For more information on the Aug. 24 escape and profiles of the escapees, visit www.cnjonline.com/sections/jailbreak

 

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