Three inmates charged with violent crimes including torture and murder have escaped a Southern California jail, setting off a frantic manhunt.

Lt. Jeff Hallock with the Orange County Sheriff's Department said Saturday that the inmates were last seen at 5 a.m. Friday at the Central Men's Jail. They could have escaped anytime between then and late Friday night.

The men include 20-year-old Jonathan Tieu, who is charged with murder. The others are 37-year-old Hossein Nayeri, charged with kidnapping and torture, and 43-year-old Bac Duong, charged with attempted murder. The men's criminal cases are unrelated.

Hallock declined to explain how the men escaped the 900-inmate jail in Santa Ana. He says it could be the first-ever escape from the facility.

Hallock says all the department's resources are dedicated to finding the men.