East Hawaii News

UPDATE: Police Still Seeking Driver of Van Involved in Jail Escape

January 14, 2014, 5:49 PM HST
* Updated June 13, 12:57 PM
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***Updated 10:35 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 15.***

An inmate who scaled a fence at the Hale Nani Correctional Facility Tuesday morning has been charged with second-degree escape.

Mary Lolita Santos, 40, of Mountain View was being held today at the Hilo police cellblock pending a court appearance.

Her bail was set at $10,000 for that charge. However, she willl remain incarcerated as part of her original sentence for which she was being held at Hale Nani, a minimum-security facility used primarily for short-term inmates and those involved in work-release programs.

Police are still looking for the driver of a van into which Santos jumped after leaving the jail.

Posted 5:49 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 14:

Police are looking for the driver of a van who apparently unwittingly played a part in a jail escape today in Hilo.

Personnel from the Hale Nani Correctional Facility told police that a female inmate scaled a fence at the minimum-security facility in Panaewa at about 9:40 a.m.

Police said the inmate, identified as 40-year-old Mary Lolita Santos of Mountain View, then ran along the Puna-bound lanes of Route 11 where she stopped a blue van and jumped into the passenger-side window.

Mary Santos. HPD photo.

Mary Santos. HPD photo.

State correctional officers were able to prevent the van from leaving until they took Santos into custody.

The van then left the area.

Police want to interview the van’s driver, who was described as an older Filipino man.

The van, a blue Honda Odyssey, may have been a taxi, as it was described as having the letters “PUC” on its exterior.

Police ask that anyone who was traveling on Route 11 and may have witnessed the incident, or who may know the identity of the driver, to contact Det. Norbert Serrao at 961-2383 or [email protected]

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