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Suspected killer had help escaping Virginia jail

Posted at 5:15 PM, May 02, 2023

FARMVILLE, Va. — Court documents show one of two inmates who escaped Piedmont Regional Jail on April 30 had help.

One of the inmates is 26-year-old Alder Alfonso Marin Sotelo, who was being held at the jail awaiting sentencing for possession of a firearm by an unlawful alien. Sotelo is also a suspect in the murder of Ned Byrd, a deputy from Wake County, North Carolina.

The other inmate who escaped Sunday is 44-year-old Bruce Callahan, who was being held at the jail on federal narcotics charges.

On Tuesday, May 2, FBI Special Agent Shaylin Laure filed a criminal complaint against Sotelo’s sister, Adriana Marin Sotelo, charging her with Conspiracy to Instigate or Assist Escape.

According to that complaint, around noon on April 28, an inmate inside Piedmont Regional Jail, listed as “unindicted co-conspirator 1” called their sibling, listed as “unindicted co-conspirator 2,” arranging for them to pick up a getaway car in High Point, NC.

During a follow-up phone call between the same two parties later that day, the inmate gave Adriana Sotelo’s phone number to their sibling and instructed them to contact her to arrange a spot to pick up the car and have it in place at the jail by midnight.

On April 29, Marin Sotelo contacted Adriana Sotelo by phone and instructed her to get the car to unindicted co-conspirator 2 and make a payment of $2,500 for dropping the car off at the jail’s parking lot.

Later that night, before 11 p.m., unindicted co-conspirator 2 was on the phone with the inmate, unindicted co-conspirator 1 to show that they were leaving a red Mustang in the Piedmont Regional jail parking lot. The Mustang was purchased in North Carolina and had a paper license plate.

On April 30 around 1:40 a.m., Marin was caught on surveillance video climbing over the fence of the jail and escaping.

He was seen again on video surveillance leaving the jail parking lot in the Mustang around 5:40 a.m.

Just before 11:30 that night, nearly 24 hours later, Callahan was caught on surveillance video also climbing over the fence of the jail and escaping.

Prince Edward County Sheriff’s Office said it received notification from jail staff one inmate escaped around 4 a.m. Monday, May 1. A subsequent report of another inmate missing followed.

According to the jail superintendent, Jerry Townsend, inmates were able to escape by manipulating a locking mechanism on a rear door.

Townsend has not responded to email requests asking when or how jail staff found out each inmate had escaped, as well as how long it took staff to notify law enforcement of the incident.

It is not clear if Sotelo and Callahan worked together, escaping 22 hours apart.

“It raises a whole lot of questions and makes you wonder how could two people escape the same facility in such a short period of time. With headcounts being each day, more than one, finding that there’s no notification of the first one before the second one escapes? It just leaves you scratching your head, wondering what happened down there?” CBS 6 legal analyst Todd Stone said.

The two men are still at large.

The FBI is offering a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Sotelo. Sotelo is considered armed and dangerous.

U.S. Marshals is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for Callahan. He is considered dangerous as well.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email newstips@wtvr.com to send a tip.

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