Six inmates escape Merced County Jail with help from homemade rope

Top: Barron Jorge, Gabriel Francis Coronado and Manuel Allen Leon
Bottom: Andre Nunez Rodriguez Jr., Fabian Cruz Roman and Edgar Eduardo Ventura

By JOSH FRIEDMAN

Authorities are conducting a manhunt for six inmates who escaped the Merced County Downtown Jail Saturday night.

The inmates gained access to the roof of the jail and used a homemade rope to scale down the side of the building, according to the findings of a preliminary investigation. Jail staff determined the inmates were missing just before midnight, according to the Merced County Sheriff’s Office.

One of the fugitives is charged with murder, while two others were being held on attempted murder charges. The inmates are all Hispanic men who are 19-22 years old. 

Jorge Barron, 20, is described as 5 feet 5 inches tall and 140 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. Barron, of Atwater, is charged with a probation violation.

Gabriel Francis Coronado, 19, is 5 feet 10 inches tall and 225 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. Coronado, of Atwater, is charged with attempted murder, shooting at an inhabited dwelling, participation in a criminal street gang, being a felon in possession of a firearm and violation of probation.

Manuel Allen Leon, 21, is 5 feet 10 inches tall and 165 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. Leon, of Vallejo, is charged with assault with a firearm, shooting at an inhabited dwelling, evading a peace officer while driving recklessly, participation in a criminal street gang and carrying a loaded firearm.

Andres Nunez Rodriguez Jr., 21, is 5 feet 7 inches tall and 145 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. Rodriguez, of Planada, is charged with attempted murder, shooting at an inhabited dwelling, participation in a criminal street gang and being a felon in possession of a firearm. 

Fabian Cruz Roman, 22, is 5 feet 6 inches tall and 145 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. Roman, of Los Banos, is charged with murder. 

Edgar Eduardo Ventura, 22, is 5 feet 11 inches tall and 129 pounds. Ventura, of Portland, Oregon, is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, participation in a criminal street gang and violating probation. 

The Merced sheriff’s office has formed a task force to track down and arrest the fugitives. The task force is asking anyone with information about the suspects to call 911 immediately. 

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