Woman suspected of providing ride to 3 OC inmates after jail escape

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In the hours after three inmates escaped the Orange County Central Men's Jail, a woman named Ly Hoa Le gave them a ride, according to a search warrant. (KABC)

In the hours after three inmates escaped the Orange County Central Men's Jail, a woman named Ly Hoa Le gave them a ride, according to a search warrant.

The warrant said the trio were driven to Lee's Sandwiches in Westminster by an older Asian woman in a green Lexus.

MORE: Reward suggested for homeless man who helped find 2 OC jail escapees

According to the warrant, she was an acquaintance of 43-year-old Bac Duong for more than 10 years. He called her "mom" because she took care of the neighborhood kids. Duong called her the day the three men escaped, according to the warrant, and he asked for a ride so they could pick up a car.

When she arrived, she picked up Duong, 20-year-old Jonathan Tieu and 37-year-old Hossein Nayeri. Duong then told her they had just escaped the jail.

She told police that she drove them around, but wasn't paying attention to where she was going because she was scared they would kill her. She said they eventually allowed her to leave.

MORE: Look at inmates' escape route

She was then arrested for aiding and abetting on Jan. 29 - the same day Duong turned himself in to police. So far, she has not been charged with anything.

"It's part of an ongoing investigation, but it's certainly looking at what her assistance to these individuals was," Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens said.

Others were arrested on suspicion of helping the escapees, including an English as a Second Language teacher at the jail. She has not been charged. Loc Nguyen, an associate of Duong's, is accused of smuggling tools that helped the inmates escape. The sheriff said the tools have still not been found.

It is still under investigation as to how more than 15 hours passed before staff noticed the men were missing. The Orange County sheriff's deputies union filed a lawsuit last week claiming unsafe working conditions due in large part to inadequate staffing at the jail contributed to the escape.

MORE: Deputies union sues OCSD, claims unsafe conditions led to jail escape

Hutchens said one deputy had been reallocated the day of the jail break, but that it did not contribute to the incident.

"If we determine that we need more staffing at the conclusion of that review, we will look at that," she said. "But today, I do not believe that that made any difference."

Related Topics:
jailinmatesarrestescaped prisonerorange county sheriff's departmentSanta AnaOrange County
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