Photo by Alexander Nguyen
Photo by Alexander Nguyen

On the sixth day of a manhunt for three Orange County jail inmates, more details emerged Wednesday about their daring breakout from the maximum security lockup.

The first deputy to notice the inmates were missing from the Central Men’s Jail on Friday night reported that he and a colleague were doing a physical body count in Module F when they came upon tank 28 and realized Hossein Nayeri, 37, of Newport Beach, Jonathan Tieu, 20, of Fountain Valley, and Bac Duong, 43, of Santa Ana, were gone.

“I immediately checked my court list and noticed that none of them had court earlier in the day,” Deputy S. Stewart wrote in a report filed with the court. “I also called the second floor guard station to see if they were in an education class, and they were not. I then called the first floor and asked them to search the visiting area in case they had a visit earlier in the day.”

A call went out to “prowler deputies” for help with another physical body count. Stewart said the initial check was at about 8 p.m. Sheriff’s spokesman Lt. Jeff Hallock has said the first body count was done an hour late due to a disturbance that may have been a diversion to help the trio with their escape.

About 8:45 p.m., deputies began scouring the entire jail.

“We escorted every inmate out of their housing location, searched the area and escorted them back into their housing location after verifying who they were,” Stewart wrote.

Stewart questioned seven inmates who all said the same thing: they saw the escapees at the 5 a.m. count and then went back to sleep and did not see them again.

Deputies then turned their attention to the jail’s roof “and discovered a trap door on the southern air ventilation tunnel,” according to one of the sheriff’s reports.

“A white bed sheet was tied into a sling to stand on as a step,” according to the report. “The step was tied to the bars and hanging approximately two feet below the opening of the ventilation tunnel. Another white bed sheet was tied to a bar on the right side. This was used as a way for the inmates to pull themselves up into the vent. Inside the vent there were several ventilation louvers removed and missing from their original location.”

At the northeast corner of the roof, “deputies observed a rope made out of bed sheets tied to the security gate. There was also a brown paper bag with more rope on the floor of the roof, as well as a blanket and two pairs of inmate-issued sandals. Next to the edge of the roof was a section of barbed wire that was cut off. It appears that the three inmates tied the bed sheets together and climbed down the jail wall.”

— City News Service 

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