One of three inmates who escaped a week ago from a maximum-security jail unit in Southern California has surrendered to authorities and is back in custody.
Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens said Bac Duong, 43, approached a civilian on the street and said he wanted to turn himself in, Southern California Public Radio reports. He was arrested shortly before noon on Friday.
The other two escapees are still at large.
As member station KPCC reports, the inmates had help from the inside:
“Deputies arrested 44-year-old Nooshafarin Ravaghi, an ESL teacher at the jail, for allegedly providing [Hossein] Nayeri with a Google Earth-type image printed out on paper and other tools that aided in the escape.
“Ravaghi, who has provided some information to investigators, denies she brought in any tools, Sheriff’s Lt. Jeff Hallock said. Investigators believe she played a ‘significant’ role in the escape. She’s been arrested and charged with being an accessory to a felony.
“Ravaghi’s expected to be asked to enter a plea in court on Monday. Hallock said investigators are recommending she be held in lieu of $500,000 bail.
“Hallock said Ravaghi and Nayeri exchanged handwritten letters illustrating a close, personal relationship. ‘I don’t know if it was romantic, but it was more personal and close than it should have been,’ he said.”
The details of the inmates’ escape are not fully known. However, earlier in the week, KPCC reported that Hallock said “investigators believe the inmates moved through plumbing tunnels and ultimately ended up on the roof in an unsecured area where they were able to rappel down to the ground using a makeshift rope. Then they fled on foot.”
As the Two-Way previously reported, the men — Hossein Nayeri, 37; Jonathan Tieu, 20; and Duong — escaped from the Men’s Central Jail in Santa Ana on Jan. 22, and all three are charged with violent crimes.