SAN ANTONIO – A convicted rapist escaped from a South Texas jail by dashing through an unlocked door, just one day after he was sentenced to life in prison.
Abel Morin, 24, escaped from the Jim Hogg County Jail in Hebbronville late Tuesday while being moved between cells. He remained at large Friday, and Texas and federal authorities were offering a cash reward for information on his whereabouts.
On Monday, he was sentenced to five concurrent life terms for sexual assault, kidnapping and burglary in the rapes of a mother and daughter in Duval County. Just hours after deputies took Morin to Hebbronville on Tuesday, he escaped.
Jim Hogg County Sheriff Erasmo "Kiko" Alarcon acknowledged that at least one door at the jail was left unlocked, allowing Morin to run away.
"We're looking into why the door was open," he said. "The jailer assumed the door was locked. This guy saw it cracked open and went for it."
Alarcon said Morin won't be easy to catch.
"He's very dangerous," he said. "He doesn't have much to lose at this point."
Yadira Mejia, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Marshall Service, said there had not been any confirmed sightings of Morin by Friday, but authorities believe he remains in the region. He has family in Alice, Corpus Christi and San Diego, Texas.
"It's just a matter of time before we get him out of his hiding place," she said.
The Texas Rangers were offering $1,000 cash reward for information on his whereabouts; the U.S. Marshall Service was offering a second cash reward.
Morin, who authorities said is a member of the Texas Mexican Mafia gang, is 5-foot-3, 120 pounds and has tattoos running down his arms and covering his chest.