$70,000 reward offered for information on jail escapee Alder Marin-Sotelo, accused in Ned Byrd case

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Thursday, May 4, 2023
Reward jumps to $70K in hunt for escaped inmate
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The FBI released new pictures of Alder Marin-Sotelo, the man who recently escaped jail in Virginia while he was being held on charges connected to the murder of Wake County Deputy Ned Byrd.

FARMVILLE, Va. (WTVD) -- US Marshals have added another $20,000 to the reward for information that helps investigators find Alder Marin-Sotelo, the man who recently escaped jail in Virginia while he was being held on charges connected to the murder of Wake County Deputy Ned Byrd.

That money, in addition to the $50,000 offered by the FBI, brings the total reward to $70,000.

On Wednesday, the FBI released new pictures of Alder Marin-Sotelo and the car he drove away from the jail during his escape. The pictures of him are from a video call he made from the jail just hours before he escaped.

He broke his way out of Piedmont Regional Jail in Farmville, Virginia, around 1:30 a.m. Sunday, April 30. He escaped from the jail, scaled the fence and got into a red or burgundy Ford Mustang that had been parked in a lot off the property for him to use to escape. The jail released a statement Thursday giving new details about the escape.

"Initial findings suggest that the inmates were able to breach an exterior door at the facility. While it is true that the Piedmont Regional Jail Authority Board has discussed door lock replacement in previous meetings, such discussions pertained to interior doors in a different housing pod from which the inmates escaped. The replacement of these interior locks is part of the capital improvement plan for the Jail."

Piedmont Regional Jail also said that "contrary to reports," the vehicle that Marin-Sotelo used to get away was not parked on jail property, but rather in a lot offsite.

"The Piedmont Regional Jail Authority Board is working with Superintendent Townsend, to ensure that a thorough investigation is performed and any personnel or facility issues that are identified are remedied immediately," the statement added.

Investigators arrested Marin-Sotelo's sister, Adriana, in High Point on Tuesday. They accused her of organizing and paying to get the Mustang in place for her brother to use as a getaway car.

Marin-Sotelo is considered extremely dangerous, the FBI said. Anyone who sees him should call 911 immediately.

He's one of two men charged in connection to the August 2022 murder of Wake County Deputy Ned Byrd.

SEE ALSO | Malfunctioning locks, staff shortages noted at Virginia jail months before inmates escaped

U.S. Marshals detail escape theory

The US Marshals are leading the investigation into the escape of Alder, 26, and another inmate, Bruce Callahan, 44, according to an ABC News source familiar with the investigation.

"They somehow, we think, were potentially able to manipulate some locks, crawled through an opening that led them out into the rec yard area. And then from there, they scaled two fences to get away from the jail," US Marshal for the Eastern District of North Carolina Larry Moltzan told ABC News in an exclusive interview.

Moltzan told ABC News that one left 20 hours before the other, but he said he believes they might've talked about the escape.

"I think it's like it's fair to reason that they may have talked about it, given that it was so similar," Moltzan said. "But they did not escape at the same time and didn't necessarily help each other in that way."

Callahan was behind bars on drug charges out of eastern North Carolina, stemming from an arrest in September 2021. He was transferred from the Robeson County Jail to the Virginia jail in September 2022.

Court documents show that investigators believe Callahan remains in or around the Farmville, Virginia area. Investigators have not released any details or theories about where Marin-Sotelo may be located.

Chris Swecker, a former FBI agent for North Carolina, spoke with the prison in Virginia and called the issues "egregious".

"There's blame to pass around. if you don't have the funds, you do work arounds," he said. "It appears to me to be a poorly run institution."

Swecker said the marshals are great fugitive hunters as well as state police in Virginia.

"This type of fugitive hunt is about getting on people who are familiar with them that are within their social network and hoping they reach out and contact them for some help," he said. "I do think that this is an intense manhunt. This is one of their own. This is a law enforcement fatality-a cop killer and a cartel member and that's a double whammy right there."