Escaped Monterey Co. inmate who was allegedly spotted at Motel 6 in Marina now in custody

Monterey County sheriff’s deputies surrounded a motel in the city of Marina for more than six hours on Tuesday after a motel employee told police one of the men who escaped from a Monterey County jail was holed up in a room.

Deputies received a tip that escaped inmate John Salazar, 20, was seen at the location earlier Tuesday. Sheriff's officials evacuated the Motel 6 on Reservation Road and surrounded the motel in hopes of finding him there.

“I do believe that Mr. Salazar was at that hotel,” said Capt. John Thornburg of the Monterey County Sheriff’s Dept. “The time the call came in to the time law enforcement was able to get on site, I believe for whatever reason (he) left and it was undetected.

Salazar and Santos Fonesca, 21, who were both awaiting trial on a murder charges, cut a hole in the ceiling of a jail bathroom.  Authorities said once they climbed through the hole, they were led them to a narrow maintenance area where they kicked open a hatch to an unfenced construction area and took off on foot. 

After the motel employee phoned in the alleged sighting, law enforcement surrounded the Motel 6 Tuesday morning.

Over the course of many hours, deputies used a bullhorn as they repeatedly called out in both English and Spanish, for “all occupants of room 235, to come out with your hands up.” Just before 7 p.m. they used a flash grenade after telling the escapee to come out with his hands up. 

A police dog searched the room and discovered it was empty. 

“When someone faces charges like this big crimes, they think they are automatically fleeing to other parts of the country and other countries, but often times we find them right here in Monterey County,” said Thornburg.