Los Angeles Times

Authoritie­s hunt three violent inmates who escaped from O.C. lockup.

Authoritie­s say the men are charged with violent crimes and are dangerous. They were last seen Friday.

- By Matt Stevens and Teresa Watanabe matt.stevens@latimes.com Twitter:@ByMattStev­ensteresa.watanabe @latimes.com Twitter:@TeresaWata­nabe

Orange County sheriff’s deputies are searching for three inmates charged with violent crimes who escaped from a Santa Ana jail, authoritie­s said Saturday.

Jonathan Tieu, 20, Bac Duong, 43, and Hossein Nayeri, 37, were discovered missing from the Orange County Central Men’s Jail on Friday, the Sheriff ’s Department said in a statement.

Authoritie­s immediatel­y launched a search of the jail complex and the nearby civic center, but “all indication­s are that the inmates … have fled the area,” the statement said.

They were last seen Friday morning, the sheriff’s statement said.

“The sheriff ’s No. 1 priority in this is the safety of our community,” Lt. Jeff Hallock told reporters at a news conference Saturday.

“We have dedicated all available resources to this search and investigat­ion so that we may bring all three inmates back into custody.”

Tieu is charged with murder, Duong with attempted murder and Nayeri with kidnapping and torture, the Sheriff’s Department said. All three inmates previously lived in Orange County.

Authoritie­s said the inmates apparently escaped through tunnels holding plumbing pipes within the jail complex, then rappelled from the roof to the ground using a makeshift rope.

They declined to specify the tools or material used, saying it was still under investigat­ion.

“We believe this was a very sophistica­ted, very well-thought-out plan that may have been in the works for weeks up to months,” said Carrie Braun, a spokeswoma­n for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

“This is not something they did overnight.”

She said officials were still reviewing videos around the Santa Ana jail and civic center to determine which direction the inmates fled. They were discovered missing during the jail’s twicedaily body check at 8 p.m. Friday.

The FBI is offering up to a $20,000 reward for informatio­n leading to the arrest of any of the three escapees. Braun asked that anyone with informatio­n call the hotline at (714) 628-7085 or call 911 with any sightings of the men, who are described as dangerous.

 ?? Associated Press ?? BAC DUONG, top, is charged with attempted murder. Jonathan Tieu, middle, is charged with murder. Hossein Nayeri is accused of kidnapping.
Associated Press BAC DUONG, top, is charged with attempted murder. Jonathan Tieu, middle, is charged with murder. Hossein Nayeri is accused of kidnapping.
 ?? Associated Press ??
Associated Press
 ?? Associated Press ??
Associated Press

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