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BREAKING NEWS: Escaped Inmate Near Rio Grande River by Corrales/Rio Rancho

By: ABQ RAW Staff

POSTED: 4/5/2022 3:15PM

Updated: 4/5/22 4:28PM

Albuquerque Metro Area -

Inmate Manuel Villalobos escaped custody and a search has started along the Rio Grande river near Rio Rancho and the Corrales area. Police found his orange jump suit stripped along the river and are currently searching the entire area.

According to a release from the NM Department of Corrections, Villalobos, is a level-one inmate work crew member from the Central New Mexico Correctional Facility’s minimum security unit. He was out on assignment near the Rivers Edge subdivision in Rio Rancho. Correctional staff were supervising 12 inmates of the crew, when trustee inmate Manuel Villalobos walked off assignment after claiming to go to the restroom. Upon discovering that Villalobos had not returned and he was not in the restroom correctional staff immediately notified the facility and an Incident Command Center was initiated. NMCD’s Security Threat Intelligence Unit and Fugitive Apprehension teams are coordinating search efforts with New Mexico State Police, and Rio Rancho Police to apprehend the offender. The remaining level-one inmates on the work crew were accounted for and were returned to the facility. Villalobos is currently serving a sentence for breaking and entering, burglary of a vehicle, possession of burglary tools, and tampering with evidence. Villalobos would have been eligible for release in December of 2024. Do not approach the suspect.

There is information that NM Department of Corrections have found in his property a letter sent to him that he had access to a vehicle near the area of the work detail where Villalobos escaped.

Sandoval County Sheriff‘s Deputies, New Mexico State Police, APD Open Space, Corrales Police, and other law enforcement agencies are actively searching along the river and neighborhoods. Lt. John Castaneda of the Sandoval County Sheriff's Office stated they have at least two K-9's assisting in the search.

Police are asking people to call 911 if you believe you have had contact with the suspect or if you are in danger. Report suspicious activity or any information on inmate Villalobos’ whereabouts to the Incident Command Center at 505-263-3623.

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