A man who was behind bars in California for murder is at large after he assumed another inmate’s identity and was mistakenly released from custody.
According to the Imperial County Sheriff’s Office, 21-year-old Athan Emmanuel Estrada walked out of prison a free man around 8 p.m. on July 23.
Estrada had been in jail since July 21 in connection to a domestic violence incident involving criminal threats, the Calexico Chronicle reported.
He was also charged on suspicion of murder after he allegedly admitted to his involvement in a June 7 shooting at a motel El Centro that resulted in the death of Pablo Dominguez, 28.
Chief Deputy Thomas Garcia noted the sheriff’s office is conducting a detailed investigation into Estrada’s release to determine what “mistakes were made and what procedures need to be evaluated in this process.”
Estrada is described as 5-feet-6-inches tall and weighs 150 pounds with brown hair and eyes. He should be considered armed and dangerous.
The Imperial County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement deputies are “currently in communications and working in close conjunction with all local and federal law enforcement agencies, including the United States Marshalls Service, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations, United States Border Customs and Border Protection, El Centro Police Department, and the Border Crime Suppression Team in a collective effort to search and apprehend inmate Estrada.”
If you have any information regarding Estrada’s whereabouts or other information related to the investigation, contact the Imperial County Sheriff’s Office at (442) 265-2021 or Investigator Julio Hurtado at (442) 258-2144.
“The protection and safety of Imperial County residents is of the utmost importance to the brave men and women of our Sheriff’s Office, and all our local law enforcement agencies, and will work diligently to ensure inmate Estrada is apprehended,” law enforcement officials said.