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Escaped Canyon County Jail inmates still at large

Posted at 4:19 PM, Oct 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-05 07:05:35-04

Two inmates remain at large after escaping from the Canyon County Detention Center Saturday night.

On October 1, 2016, about 10:30 pm, Jeffery Duval and Juan Cervantes escaped from the minimum security tent-like housing structure of the Canyon County Detention Center. 

Duval and Cervantes are the fourth and fifth inmates to escape since late 2015.

At a press conference Monday, Canyon County Sheriff Kieran Donahue explained investigators found evidence the two men first tried to cut their way through the fabric material in the showers with a jail-issued razor. When that was unsuccessful, the men resorted to what the sheriff called "Plan B".

Duval and Cervantes quickly scaled an 8-foot interior wall inside the structure with a portion covered in a metal fence-like grid where one man even left a shoe behind. Once over the wall, the men were in  the kitchen area, where they bolted out an exterior fire door and took off on foot.

According to the Canyon County Sheriff’s Office, the inmates were last seen on foot heading eastbound on Chicago Street in Caldwell. Both were in custody on felony probation violations by IDOC.

Daniel Fuller, who was incarcerated in the tent-like unit just a few weeks ago, says he heard several inmates including Jeffery Duval joke about how easy it would be to escape.

"We always joked about breaking out of here and stuff, but I didn't think they'd actually try," Fuller said. "We were just sitting around, bored, talking about escaping, and we all talked about how this is the inmates' jail - not the police station's jail - just because it's so overcrowded in there."

The tent structure was built in 2005, designed to house inmates in work release programs. When it comes to security around the tent's exterior, Sheriff Kieran Donahue agrees improvements must be made.

Officials hope to add a metal "lid" over interior sections of the tent with partial walls that would prevent inmates from gaining access to exterior fire doors. They also intend to add these ceiling-like features to the outdoor recreation areas to prevent inmates from climbing over fences, and prevent contraband from entering the facility.

"Over the last few months, we've arrested three different individuals who've come up at three different times and handed paraphernalia through the fence with a deputy standing there!" Sheriff Donahue said in disbelief. "That's how brazen it's gotten."

The Canyon County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public to contact their local law enforcement offices if you have any information on their whereabouts.