Report: Inmates likely stole key in Curry County jail escape

District Attorney Matt Chandler
District Attorney Matt Chandler

CLOVIS, N.M. (AP)  A report by an investigator in the district attorney's office has found that inmates who escaped from the Curry County jail last month likely took a key left in the lock of a door.

District Attorney Matt Chandler says there is no indication the eight inmates who escaped received intentional help from jail staff.

The report says two inmates told an investigator that the key that was left hanging in the door, while two detention officers were busy fixing a clogged toilet inside a compartment.

The report says the key was then used to unlock other doors before being returned. The officers never realized the key was missing.

Eight inmates -- including convicted killer Edward Salas and murder suspect Larry McClendon Junior -- escaped two days later.

Salas, McClendon and two others are still at large.