Jose Espinosa(20) and Otis Blunt(32) were discovered missing from their prison cells at 5:15 p.m. Saturday. They left behind dummies in their beds, cinder block dust and a note wishing authorities "Happy Holidays."
Espinosa had recently plead guilty to aggravated manslaughter. He was to be sentenced on January 25th. He was looking at a minimum of 17 years in prison. When he is caught, it will now be more. Blunt was apparently being held on weapon and robbery charges. He was in jail because he could not post his $75,000 bond.
Espinosa and Blunt were in adjacent cells. They used a long metal wire to scrape away mortar around the cinder block between their cells and the outer wall in Espinosa's cell. Then they smashed the block and hid the pieces in a footlocker. Blunt apparently squeezed into Espinosa's cell through an 16- to 18-inch hole. They crawled through another 18-inch hole in the outer wall and jumped from the roof 15 feet out and about 30 feet down.
Next they climbed a razor-wire fence onto a New Jersey transit railroad bed. Two sets of foot prints in the snow head in opposite directions. Despite being two clever Hollywood wanna bes both men are considered armed and dangerous!
Update 1-3-08: Rudolph Zurick, a 40 year old guard, who was named in a cheeky thank-you note left by two inmates when they escaped was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot Wednesday.The body was found at his home in Middlesex County according to attorney Michael J. Mitzner. Zurick was scheduled to be interviewed by investigators concerning the escape later that day. The death is being investigated according to Union County prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow. "This is not a time for speculation, but a time for mourning," he said. Both Otis Blunt, 32, and Jose Espinosa, 20 remain at large.
Update 1-9-08: Captured. Jose Espinosa apparently hurt his leg in the escape. He was found about 6 blocks away apparently at "a girlfriend's" home. Both the woman and Espinosa were arrested.
Update 1-10-08: All good movies have a great ending. Authorities in Mexico City captured Otis Blunt who had escaped Shawshank Redemption style. A visit to Mexico City by US civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton helped in the arrest. Long live justice.