Lumberton, North Carolina- It’s rare for authorities to release a photo of a juvenile criminal. But they say this time is an exception.
Police say 13-year-old “Jericho W.” is facing two first-degree murder charges. He slipped away from authorities after a juvenile court appearance on Tuesday.
It happened at about 12:10 p.m. local time. The Robeson County Sheriff’s Office Police said he was wearing leg restraints and no shoes.
According to authorities, he was in court facing two counts of first-degree murder and robbery with a dangerous weapon charges.
They say he was last seen wearing a white shirt and beige pants, and he’s described as being about 5 feet tall and approximately 110 pounds.
State law usually prevents law enforcement agencies from releasing photographs of juveniles. But this time, the North Carolina Department of Public Safety make an exception… issuing the photo of Jericho so that the public could call police to report any sightings.
“Division officials have a high degree of concern for the safety of both the juvenile and the public, due to a prior history of assaultive and unpredictable behavior,” the department said.
According to the department, Jericho has been in custody at the Cumberland Juvenile Detention Center since Oct. 14. Their Facebook post didn’t detail the criminal case against him.
According to local media outlets, the 13-year-old boy is connected to a murder case from mid-October when deputies found two brothers, Frank Thomas, 34, and Adam Thomas, 33, dead in their home.
On October 16, local media outlets reported that a 19-year-old and 13-year-old were arrested on two counts of first-degree murder in the case.
The older of the two was also charged with conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon and robbery with a dangerous weapon at the time.
Also today, we’re learning more details about how two murder suspects escaped from jail in California earlier this week. The two are both considered “extremely dangerous”.
The two are 21-year-old Santos Fonseca and 20-year-old Jonathan Salazar. According to the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office, they escaped from the Adult Detention Facility.
Escape from Monterey County Jail. Inmates Santos Fonseca (left) and Jonathan Salazar (right) escaped from jail this morning. Both were in custody for murder and other violent charges. Please call MCSO at 755-3722 with any information of their whereabouts pic.twitter.com/uxIACTb2OT
— Monterey Co Sheriff (@MCoSheriff) November 3, 2019
They are both five-feet-seven-inches tall with black hair and brown eyes. Fonseca weighs 150 pounds and Salazar weighs 170 pounds.
They’ve been in jail since 2018, where they were awaiting trial on unrelated murder counts “along with numerous other felony charges,” a sheriff’s statement said.
Because of California laws, authorities will not say whether or not the suspects are legally in the country.
According to local media outlets, Fonseca was being held on two counts of murder and attempted robbery on a $2.25 million bail after being arrested for a June 2018 shooting, and another deadly shooting three days earlier.
Media outlets are also reporting that Salazar was arrested along with a 15-year-old boy in July 2018 for a deadly October 2017 shooting.
“An investigation is underway to determine their means of escape but, at this time, we can provide no details on that topic,” said the sheriff.
He put out a statement.
“Our focus, and resources, are dedicated to locating and returning Fonseca and Salazar to custody.”
Newly released photos show just how they escaped the prison.
The Sheriff’s Office released photos to local media outlets showing a 22 inch hole in the ceiling of a bathroom where the inmates crawled through.
Authorities say they then made their way through a tiny crawl space, then out of a hatch into an area that’s under construction. Because of the construction, there’s no razor wire.
Investigators are trying to figure out who might have helped them.
“As far as help from inside, from employees absolutely not,” capt. John Thornburg said. “As far as other inmates go, that’s a big part of the investigation we’re still working through.”
Police are also still searching for another escapee – this one out of Decatur, Alabama.
Police say 30-year-old John Kaleb Gillespie escaped from the Morgan County jail last Saturday… and that he’s a violent sex offender facing drug trafficking and attempted murder charges.
He’s described as six-feet-tall, 180 pounds, and dangerous, with a history of violence against law enforcement officers.
“It appears that he was able to successfully scale a portion of our of rec yards, and made it through some razor wire,” said a spokesman for the Morgan County jail.
Prison officials said they found a makeshift rope hanging down the side of one of the facility’s walls around noon on October 27.
Back in 2018, Gillespie was for the attempted murders of a Moulton police officer and an Alabama state trooper. That came from an incident on Nov. 3, 2018.
At that time, Gillespie was wanted on drug trafficking warrants at the time. Police said he escaped from at least four pursuits by Lawrence County sheriff’s deputies. They say he also tried to run over a state trooper in the process.
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Police records show he was being held without bond in the Morgan County jail. He was facing charges of marijuana trafficking, attempting to promote prison contraband, and violating Alabama’s sex offender registration laws.
In Morgan County back in October of 2009, Gillespie pleaded guilty to two counts of statutory rape. Since then, he’s been required to register as a sex offender in Alabama.
In addition to all of that, his recent arrest history included a probation violation on the rape plea deal. While he was in the jail, he ended up being charged with attempting to promote prison contraband. That was back in June.
According to Moulton Police Chief Larry McWhorter, Gillespie was still facing the attempted murder charge for trying to run over the state trooper.
Police said that anyone who spots the violent sex offender should call 911 immediately. They’re saying that because of his “violent history with Law Enforcement,” nobody should try and approach or apprehend him.
Police now believe a missing 16-year-old girl may be with the registered sex offender.
They say Lawrence County High School sophomore Peyton Bryleigh Ledlow left her home in Moulton on Monday morning. It was the day after Gillespie escaped from prison… and she hasn’t been seen since. Sheriff’s officials say she has ties to Gillespie, and they have information indicating the two are together.
According to Sheriff’s spokesman Mike Swafford, the teen could be in danger.