Jail Escapee Captured in El Cajon Motel - NBC4 Washington
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Jail Escapee Captured in El Cajon Motel

Don Torrillo walked out of the San Diego Central Jail under a false name, officials say

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Escaped Inmate Had Help From Inside

    Inmate Don Torrillo, who escaped from Central Jail Tuesday night, apparently had help from the inside. NBC 7’s Dave Summers has details of the plan that fooled the jailers. (Published Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014)

    The San Diego suspect who is accused of escaping from the Central Jail downtown has been taken into custody, San Diego County Sheriff’s officials confirmed.

    Don Andrea Torrillo, 26, was rearrested late Wednesday night at the Motel 6 at 550 Montrose Court in El Cajon. He was alone in the room when the U.S. Marshals and sheriff's detectives discovered him.

    Meanwhile, investigators are still trying to determine exactly how Torrillo allegedly escaped in the first place.

    They do know he managed to walk out the lockup’s front doors Tuesday evening after going through the release process under a different name: Allen Morefield, according to sheriff’s spokesperson Jan Caldwell.

    She says Torrillo and Morefield, 19, were housed on the same floor and were arrested around the same time last week on similar drug charges.

    But Torrillo’s father told NBC 7 the two knew each other before jail. Torrillo was living with his parents as Morefield rented a room from them before his arrest. The two also look alike, according to Caldwell.

    When placed in jail together, the two agreed to swap jail identification wristbands, Caldwell said. Morefield’s indicated he was to be released on Tuesday, though investigators are not sure why Morefield would want to stay locked up.

    The ruse worked long enough for Torrillo to get through processing.

    “[Officers] have a series of exit questions they go through. He answered properly,” said Caldwell said. “Similar in appearance, the wristband, and he was released.”

    It took corrections officers nearly an hour to realize they had released the wrong person, at which point they launched a countywide search for Torrillo.

    Caldwell says officials will now break down the escape step by step to make sure it does not happen again.

    “Thankfully this does not happen often, but one time is too much,” said Caldwell. “So while we do have some checks and balances in place, we are also looking into biometrics, facial recognition.”

    Torrillo was booked back into the Central Jail, where he now faces charges for the escape as well as his original drug charges.

    Morefield remains behind bars and could face new charges too.