Escaped Palo Alto inmate found hiding in attic

Deputies arrest sister for allegedly harboring a fugitive

Laron Campbell, the Palo Alto inmate who escaped from a San Jose jail nearly a week ago, was found Tuesday night when he fell through the attic at his sister's Antioch home, Santa Clara County sheriff's officials said.

Campbell, 26, was recaptured around 10 p.m. when deputies searched the home of his sister, Marcaysha Alexander, 24, who was arrested on suspicion of harboring a fugitive, Santa Clara County Undersheriff Carl Neusel said at a news conference Wednesday morning at sheriff's headquarters in San Jose.

Investigators are still looking for a second inmate, Rogelio Chavez, 33, of San Jose, who escaped with Campbell on the night of Nov. 23 from Main Jail South.

On Monday, detectives were tipped off that Campbell was in Antioch and determined he was staying with his sister in the 1000 block of James Donlon Avenue, Neusel said.

They notified the U.S. Marshals Service, which conducted surveillance of the residence for several hours and verified Campbell was there, according to Neusel.

At around 10 p.m. on Tuesday, they served a warrant with Antioch police at the home, where Campbell was hiding in the attic and fell down from the ceiling to the ground, where he was taken into custody without further incident, according to Neusel.

Campbell was booked into Santa Clara County Main Jail in San Jose without bail and Alexander was taken to the Elmwood Correctional Facility in Milpitas, where she remains in lieu of $250,000 bail, according to online jail records.

Campbell, Chavez and two other inmates were able to leave the jail by cutting bars to a second-floor window and descended outside the facility with bed sheets and clothes, sheriff's officials said.

The other two inmates were quickly apprehended outside the jail at West Hedding and North San Pedro streets, according to the sheriff's office.

Sheriff's deputies are investigating the escape and believe there were no significant policy violations based on their review of multiple documents, Neusel said.

The cutting tools used in the escape haven't been found, the undersheriff said.

Detectives have received a steady stream of tips since Sheriff Laurie Smith announced a $20,000 reward last week for information leading to the capture of both inmates, sheriff's officials said.

It's not clear how the money will be divided up for who gave the tip that resulted in Campbell's arrest, Neusel said.

The tips surrounding Chavez's whereabouts led detectives to a Days Inn at 8292 Murray Ave. in Gilroy on Monday Nov. 28, and Inman Way in San Jose on Tuesday, Nov. 29, sheriff's Sgt. Richard Glennon said.

As a result of the investigation in Gilroy, Emily Vaca, 35, of San Jose, was arrested for allegedly driving Chavez around the county, Glennon said.

Vaca is scheduled for arraignment this afternoon at the South County Courthouse in Morgan Hill.

Chavez was booked into jail on Aug. 17 for burglary, extortion, false imprisonment, resisting arrest and firearms violations, Glennon said.

He is Hispanic, stands about 6 feet 1 inch tall and weighs about 190 pounds. He has a facial tattoo above and below his left eye, according to Glennon.

Anyone with information surrounding Chavez's location are asked to call sheriff's investigators at 408-808-4500 or the anonymous tip line at 408-808-4431.


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