Bent County Jail inmate found, escaped through ceiling

(LAS ANIMAS, Colo.) — An inmate was on the run for a few hours on Saturday night, Jan. 20 before he was captured by law enforcement.

According to the Bent County Sheriff’s Office, James Torrez escaped the Bent County Jail just before 6:30 p.m. on Saturday. Deputies said Torrez escaped after he entered the ceiling in an area where jail staff said, he was supposed to be cleaning.

More than 12 law enforcement and emergency agencies responded to help with the search, and Torrez was caught about three hours later, just before 9:15 p.m.

Bent County Jail inmate found, escaped through ceiling
Courtesy: Bent County Sheriff’s Office

“The inmate was located near U.S. Highway 50 and County Road 6.5… [and] was taken into custody without incident,” wrote the Sheriff’s Office. “There is an internal investigation and criminal investigation ongoing.”

Torrez is the fifth inmate to escape from the Bent County Jail in the past year. In August of 2023, four inmates escaped, two of whom were captured and taken back into custody, the two others were found dead.

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