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Murder Suspects Escaped California Jail Through a Hole in Bathroom Ceiling

Two murder suspects who escaped from a Monterey County jail of California, shimmied through a 22-inch hole cut in a bathroom ceiling in a spot out of sight from deputies, authorities said.

Police have released images showing how two murder suspects pulled off a surprising jail break.

Santos Samuel Fonseca, 21, and Jonathan Salazar, 20, crawled through a 22in (55cm) hole they cut in a toilet ceiling at the jail in the city of Salinas, south of San Francisco.

The two were awaiting trial for separate murder charges when they escaped on Sunday.

“We’re disappointed that there are people charged with homicide who are no longer in our jail,” Jonathan Thornburg, a spokesman for the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office, said.

The pair cut through drywall and a metal screen to make the hole and then crawled into the space, which is used by maintenance workers, according to Thornburg.

The back of the jail is surrounded by construction fencing, not barbed wire, like the rest of the building, he said.

Thornburg said officials don’t know what tools they used to cut the hole in the ceiling and they are investigating whether other inmates helped Fonseca and Salazar.

Authorities are searching for the fugitives, who are considered armed and dangerous.

The sheriff’s office is offering a $5,000 (£3,800) reward for information about the suspects’ whereabouts.

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