LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) -Two detainees from an immigration detention center in Allen Parish, who escaped Monday or Tuesday, have been apprehended in Kinder.
Sheriff Doug Hebert says they were spotted walking down the street after having been in the woods for most of the time they were missing. Hebert says earlier reports that they were seen in Topsy was a case of mistaken identity.
Hebert says the two did climb over razor wire at the detention center and that they are reinforcing that wire today. No word on whether the detainees were cut as they escaped.
The men were discovered missing during a count around midnight. Some residents were upset they did not know the men escaped until this morning. However, the facility is described as low to medium security and the escapees classified as “non-violent.”
The 200-bed detention center, behind the Allen Parish Jail, opened in June. It’s for those detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Around midnight a count of the men revealed that two were missing.
They were 40-year-old Yurdel Rodrigues-Marques from Cuba.
And 25-year-old Selvin Ponce-Maridiega from Honduras.
Tuesday, Allen Parish Chief Deputy Blair Fontenot says the men were detained for allegedly coming to the country illegally.
“They were just a part of our general population in our ICE facility awaiting either trial or deportation. They were non-violent immigration hold,” said Fontenot.
“Basically, what we had at the midnight count last night (Monday night) it was noticed that two of our detainees were missing. A search of the facility was done and at that point in time we were made aware that the two had actually left the facility,” he said.
Fontenot says they are studying security video to determine how and when the men escaped.
“It is very secure, however they did get out,” said Fontenot. He says the double fence could be climbed yet, “It’s possible, but you’d have to go through razor wire,” he said.
Though deputies did knock on doors at homes near the jail and detention facility some nearby houses were missed.
Cathy Pitre and Lynn Darbonne say more needs to be done to alert people of escapes.
“Come knock on my door. Come let me know. Come check on my house. There's woods ten feet from my house. Come check around my vehicles I have a shed in my back yard,” said Pitre.
“I have the elderly living by me, the disabled, some that can't even walk on their own. I don't know if they alarmed (alerted) them but I don’t think so,” said Darbonne.
The sheriff urges residents to sign up for text and email alerts and then keep phone nearby while sleeping.
Allen Parish receives $58 dollars a day for each ICE detainee.
Sheriff Doug Hebert says they built it (the detention facility) to raise budget revenue to improve services without having to raise taxes on Allen Parish people.
The men were reportedly picked up by two women in the Topsy area and are no longer thought to be in Allen Parish.
Anyone with information about the escapees should contact the sheriff’s department at 337-639-4353.