LOS ANGELES (AP) — A murder suspect who was mistakenly released from a Southern California jail was recaptured Monday after a three-week manhunt, authorities said.
Steven Manzo was spotted in the city of Buena Park in Orange County, getting into a grey Nissan Sentra with several other people inside, and investigators followed the car to the nearby city of Cypress where Manzo was arrested, according to a statement from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
He was being held on more than $4 million bail.
Manzo, 24, was one of three men charged with fatally shooting Salvador Corrales, a 24-year-old father of two, in Long Beach in 2018.
He walked out of Century Regional Detention Center in Lynwood, a Los Angeles suburb, on March 9, one day after he was scheduled to face a hearing on murder charges.
Several agencies have denied blame for his release.
The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said Manzo wasn’t brought to court from jail on March 8 and so the charges were dismissed and immediately refiled in order to allow postponement of the hearing. A judge ordered Manzo held in custody.
However, the Sheriff’s Department, which staffs the detention center, said it received a release order from the court and didn’t make any errors.
After being released, Manzo ran across a busy freeway and vanished in an area south of downtown Los Angeles. Authorities shut down Interstate 101 during the immediate search.
Fugitive task force investigators from the Sheriff’s Department, Long Beach Police Department and U.S. Marshals Service searched for Manzo, authorities said.