6 inmates still missing after largest-scale escape in Yakima County jail history

YAKIMA, Wash. —  It’s been 24 hours since more than a dozen inmates busted out of the Yakima County jail; eight have been captured, but the search continues for six inmates still on the run.

Authorities said the captured inmates told jail officials they escaped because they were afraid of contracting COVID-19.

“They were upset after the governor’s press conference regarding the statewide order to shelter in place,” jail officials said in a news release. “The virus outbreak has them all scared.”

Last week, three inmates were placed under quarantine after showing symptoms consistent with the virus. Jail officials announced over the weekend that tests for all three came back negative.

Results came back negative Monday for a fourth inmate who was tested after he was sent to the hospital for chest pain and upper respiratory issues.

KAPP-KVEW reached out to the Yakima County jail for comment on this story, but multiple attempts to contact jail officials Monday and Tuesday were unsuccessful.

Officials said the escape happened about 7  p.m., shortly after corrections officers conducted their regularly scheduled check of Annex C, a dorm-style housing unit which holds mostly low-level offenders.

Moments after officers exited the unit, inmates began barricading the doors using heavy metal tables, blocking the only regular entrance into the unit, according to court documents.

Inmates reportedly used another table as a battering ram, striking the emergency fire escape door inside the unit until it broke open.

“An unfortunate incident happened at the Yakima County jail that has never happened on this large of a scale,” the sheriff’s office said in a Facebook post.

Video obtained by KAPP-KVEW shows inmates running outside and scaling the fence surrounding the jail near the intersection of North First Street and West Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard before fleeing in all directions. 

VIDEO: Inmates hop fence, escape from Yakima County jailDETAILS: https://bit.ly/2vIbPES📹Briseida & Alex Gonzalez

Posted by KAPP-KVEW Local News on Monday, March 23, 2020

Courtesy: Briseida & Alex Gonzalez

Deputies, state troopers and police officers flooded the surrounding area, looking for the running inmates: within 15 minutes, they had eight in custody:

  • Miguel Angel Guerrero Aguilar (charged with second-degree escape, bail set at $25,000)
  • Jairo Richardo Cardenas (charged with second-degree escape, bail set at $25,000)
  • Scott Fidencio Lopez (charged with second-degree escape, bail set at $25,000)
  • Gabriel Emilio Mascarenas (charged with second-degree escape, bail set at $25,000)
  • Dylon Harry Scott Nedeff (charged with second-degree escape, bail set at $25,000)
  • Eleuterio Prieto Jr. (charged with second-degree escape, bail set at $25,000)
  • Jason Michael Walker (charged with first-degree escape, bail set at $25,000)
  • Ruben Salinas (charges, bail unknown)

Warrants have been issued for the arrest of the six inmates still at large:

  • Fernando Gustavo Castenda-Sandoval, 31, of Yakima
  • Hugo Alejandro Amezcue-Hernandez, 28, of Yakima
  • Miguel Angel Chavez-Amezcua, 27, of Moses Lake
  • Andrew Derrick Wolfley, 26, of Union Gap
  • Tyrone Adam Mulvaney, 34, of Moses Lake
  • Neftali Serrano, 27, of Yakima

The U.S. Marshals Service is offering a reward up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of any of the escaped inmates. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the inmates is asked to call the U.S. Marshals Service Tip Hotline at 1-866-865-TIPS.

Tips can also be sent to Crime Stoppers at 800-248-9980 or www.crimestoppersyakco.org. For urgent matters, call 911 or the Yakima County sheriff’s office at 509-574-2500.