Search for final escapee continues

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom New Mexico

It’s seven down, one to go.

With the capture of Louis Chavez, 19, Monday night at a local
grocery store, only convicted child killer Edward Salas remains at large of the eight inmates who escaped from the Curry County
Detention Center in August.

Curry County Undersheriff Wesley Waller said that even though more
than three months have passed since the Aug. 24 escape, “it is still an
active and priority investigation.”

While tight-lipped regarding specifics in the hunt for Salas, Waller
said investigators have leads and continue to receive information on
his whereabouts.

“We do have a number of locations that we’re still monitoring with
the assistance of federal authorities, but (we) won’t specify where at
this time,” Waller said.

Of all the escapees, “Edward (Salas) has the most to lose” by getting re-captured, Waller said.

In April, the 24-year-old was convicted of first-degree murder in
the shooting of Clovis fifth-grader Carlos Perez. He was sentenced to
life in prison.

Salas was among eight inmates police said stole a key to a plumbing
closet from detention officers at the Curry County Adult Detention
Center, scaled pipes and cut a hole in the roof of the jail. He was due
to be transferred to the New Mexico Department of Corrections the day
after the escape, officials said.

Anthony Lanaro, 24, who was with Chavez at the time of his capture
in the parking lot of Lowe’s grocery store, was charged with harboring
or aiding a felon, a felony, Waller said.

Lanaro is being held on a $5,000 bond, jail officials said.

Chavez told investigators he had only been in Clovis a couple of
hours when he was captured, but Waller said law enforcement had
information indicating he returned to the area more than a week ago.

Chavez also told investigators he had no knowledge of where the other escapees went after leaving the jail.

But Waller said information the police have contradicts those
statements and there are indications that, “at some point since the
escape, it’s a possibility that (Chavez and Salas) were together.”

Tips from the public have led to the capture of most of the fugitives.

In October, two escapees — one of which was 21-year-old homicide
suspect Larry McClendon Jr. — were captured based on tips from the
public, police said.

• Edward Salas is described as 5 feet, 5 inches tall, 180 pounds, with
brown hair and brown eyes. He has a tattoo on his back that says
“SALAS” and a tattoo on his right arm that says “LISA.”

A reward of $5,000 has been offered for information leading to his
capture. Anyone with information about Salas’ whereabouts can contact
Clovis/Curry County Crime Stoppers at 763-7000.