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Local News

Deputy Locates Second Jail Inmate to Escape Custody

Two days after an inmate was mistakenly released from the Santa Barbara County Jail, another inmate receiving care at Cottage Hospital walked out and was missing on Sunday for about three hours before he was located by deputies.

On Sunday, an inmate receiving medical treatment at the Hospital walked away, with hospital personnel notifying the Sheriff's Department that he was missing around 11:15 a.m., according to Kelly Hoover, a spokeswoman for the Sheriff's Department.

"Sheriff’s deputies immediately began looking for him," she said, adding that the inmate was found at 2:20 p.m. several blocks away, at the Mobil gas station at 402 W. Mission St.

A sheriff’s deputy located the inmate, who was serving time for a misdemeanor drug paraphernalia possession charge, and took him back into custody.   

Hoover said the inmate was scheduled to be released this coming Sunday, but that the Sheriff’s Department intends to file an escape charge.

Sunday's incident comes just two days after another inmate was mistakenly released from jail and has yet to be found.

Shortly after 6 a.m. Jan. 24, Eduardo Guzman Gonzalez was released from jail due to procedural errors. Hoover said Gonzalez was booked on a domestic violence charge and was ineligible for release due to a probation violation hold and immigration detainer.

Sheriff's deputies have been unable to locate him since and are asking anyone who has spotted Gonzalez to call 9-1-1.

Hoover said the department is doing an internal review to find out how the release occurred and how communication and training can be improved.

"We release about 18,000 inmates a year from the Santa Barbara County Jail, and this was a rare but unfortunate occurrence," she said.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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