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Four California Inmates Still at Large; Four Captured Elsewhere

November 22, 1988

Undated (AP) _ Four California prisoners who shimmied down knotted bed sheets to freedom were still at large today, but a double murderer who burrowed out of a 153-year-old New Jersey penitentiary was captured three blocks away.

In New York City, meanwhile, three foreign nationals who tried to break out of federal custody were arrested early Monday on a rain-soaked parapet of the prison.

Authorities in Santa Ana, Calif., continued their search today for the four prisoners, including one booked for investigation of murder, who escaped from the Orange County Jail Sunday evening.

The four were part of a recreation group meeting on the jail roof. They got out by cutting a small hole in a security fence and scaling down a rope made of knotted bed sheets, said sheriff’s Lt. Richard Olson.

It was not known what kind of tools they used or how they eluded guards during the scheduled recreation period, Olson said.

In Trenton, N.J., a convicted double murderer had 14 hours of freedom after he chipped his way out of his cell and scaled a wall at Trenton State Prison, prompting an intensive manhunt.

Gonzalo Marrero, 37, who is serving at least 60 years for two execution- style homicides, did not get far from the prison after the escape early Monday, but eluded hundreds of police and tracking dogs for several hours.

He was captured after two Trenton police officers on foot spotted him talking to another man about three blocks from the prison, in the area police had searched all day.

Marrero, who fled when he saw the approaching officers, was caught a block away. He was carrying a handmade knife.

In New York, federal investigators were trying to find out how the foreign nationals got the hacksaw blade they used to saw through the bars and plastic window of an eighth-floor room.

They apparently used twine to drop to a fourth-floor setback of the building, said U.S. Marshal Romolo J. Imundi.

Marshals using a Fire Department ″cherry picker″ got the prisoners down.

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