MANILA, Utah – A deputy in charge when two convicted killers escaped from a jail has resigned, the sheriff said Friday as the manhunt continued for the pair.
Daggett County Sheriff Rick Ellsworth did not identify the deputy, who was working Sunday when authorities said Danny Martin Gallegos, 49, and Juan Carlos Diaz-Arevalo, 27, climbed a fence and dashed from the jail, 120 miles east of Salt Lake City.
The deputy was one of two people — and the only law enforcement officer — on duty at the jail, which had nearly 120 inmates at the time.
The Salt Lake County killers were state inmates who were transferred to the jail during summer because the Utah prison was too crowded.
Ellsworth said authorities rushed to a home Thursday in Evanston, Wyo., based on a tip that the men were holed up there, "but it proved to be a false lead."
The biggest blow came Thursday when a man said he was lying when he claimed Gallegos and Diaz-Arevalo had asked him for a ride two days earlier. Roadblocks were up for two days on U.S. 191, 35 miles south of the jail, based on the information. A detective in Wyoming's Sweetwater County who is assisting in the search has said the tipster will face criminal charges.
"How cruel can people be?" said Jean Balliger, the aunt of Gallegos' 18-year-old victim, who was killed in 1990.
Ellsworth said local, state and federal authorities in the search "are continuing to hit it hard." A $20,000 reward was posted for help that leads to an arrest, but Ellsworth warned against people attempting their own capture.
About 1,500 state inmates are housed at county jails, although that policy and security will be reviewed. The Daggett County jail remains under lockdown while security procedures are reviewed; Gallegos and Diaz-Arevalo escaped while on a recreation break in the courtyard.