English teacher at California jail arrested in connection to escape of 3 inmates

Officials in California announced Thursday that a teacher who taught English at a maximum-security jail has been arrested on suspicion of helping the three inmates escape.

Orange County sheriff's officials also said they believe the men may be living in a stolen van.

Lt. Jeff Hallock said Nooshafarin Ravaghi, who taught English as a second language to inmates, may have supplied maps to the men before they cut and climbed their way out of Orange County Central Men's Jail last Friday.

Ravaghi worked for the Rancho Santiago Community College District and taught English as a second language to inmates at the jail for about six months, according to Hallock.

"There was some type of relationship that developed between the two" that was close, Hallock said, but he didn't know whether it was a romance.

Ravaghi denied supplied any tools to the inmates, but investigators suspect she provided Google maps that potentially could have helped the inmates plan their route after fleeing the jail, Hallock told reporters.

Hallock added that the men are believed to be still in California and that one stole a white van on Saturday in South Los Angeles.

About 10 people have been arrested so far in connection with the breakout, according to officials.

Jonathan Tieu, 20, Bac Duong, 43, and Hossein Nayeri, 37, were all awaiting trial for various violent crimes before they escaped the jail on Friday.

Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens said Wednesday that investigators believe the trio had "outside help" to facilitate the escape.

Hutchens said the men would have needed powerful cutting tools that would not have been available to them inside to get through thick metal, and investigators are looking into how they could have obtained them.

The jail has revised its headcount procedures following the escape because it took so long to discover the men were missing, something that she finds deeply troubling.

"It's every sheriff's nightmare," Hutchens said.

The men escaped after cutting a hole in a metal grate then crawling through plumbing tunnels and onto the roof.

They pushed aside barbed wire and rappelled down using a rope made of bed sheets.

Hutchens added that one of the inmates, Hossein Nayeri, was probably the mastermind of the escape.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.