ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A couple of hours after deputies say 27-year-old Duwin Perez-Cordova pretended to be his cellmate in order to escape from the Metropolitan Detention Center last Sunday, he committed an armed robbery at a North Valley business.
Lt. Pete Golden with the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office said Perez-Cordova has not been found but investigators believe he is still in Albuquerque. He would not provide any additional information about the robbery or say what Perez-Cordova was armed with.
“We do believe he is still in the area,” Golden said in a news conference Wednesday afternoon. “He does have family in the area, and they are cooperating with the investigators throughout this entire time.”
According to court documents and jail officials, Perez-Cordova groomed his facial hair to look like his cellmate Edwin Sanchez, who was scheduled to be released from custody after being locked up for 364 days. Then, officials said, he used Sanchez’s ID wristband to pretend to be him and was dropped off Downtown around 2 a.m. Sunday.
A couple of hours later, Sanchez, 23, notified jail officials that he should have been released and that his wristband was gone. He was charged with assisting in the escape plot.
Golden said as soon as the MDC chief realized what had happened, he called the sheriff’s office.
“As soon as the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department was notified of his escape we started a joint apprehension effort to bring Duwin back into custody,” Golden said.
He said investigators with the New Mexico State Police, Albuquerque Police Department, and U.S. Marshals are trying to find Perez-Cordova and have been knocking on doors and working with databases and technology. Search warrants have also been filed on his phone and social media accounts.
He said they have interviewed many people connected to the case, but the focus of the investigation so far has been on getting Perez-Cordova back into custody.
He said Perez-Cordova is a “deported felon,” although he did not know his current immigration status. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has not answered questions about his status.
Perez-Cordova had been in jail since last December and is charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon after federal authorities say he shot a man in the face, injuring him, at a laundromat and carwash in southwest Albuquerque.
“He is a violent felon, he has a high propensity for violence, he is not afraid to commit violent crimes,” Golden said. “The last time he was apprehended it was a SWAT standoff.”
Candace Hopkins, a MDC spokeswoman, said jail officials are conducting an internal investigation into how Perez-Cordova escaped.