A female inmate was released from the Orange County jail by mistake four days ago because she had the same last name as the male inmate who was supposed to be released, jail officials said.
Erika Espinoza, 40, is still on the loose. She was arrested on a trespassing charge.
A reporter stopped by the address listed in Erika Espinoza’s arrest report to see if she knew she was let out by mistake, but no one came to the door.
At the time her mug shot was taken, Lamberto Espinoza, 41, had just been booked on a domestic violence charge.
Both suspects had the same bond amount.
Although the two suspects aren’t the same gender, their names got mixed up when Lamberto Espinoza’s family member came to bond him out of jail.
Jail officials realized their mistake two hours after Erika Espinoza was released, when Lamberto Espinoza’s family member asked what was taking so long.
“They ask a series of questions to verify if you are the inmate, like the address on file, they fingerprint you before you leave, so I don’t understand how she was released by mistake,” said former inmate Melissa Depesgre. “I would want the situation rectified if I paid my money and my loved one was still here.”
Erika Espinoza has a warrant out for her arrest, since she didn’t rightfully pay her way out from behind bars.
Jail officials said wrong releases rarely happen, especially for a jail that handles 45,000 released each year.
Orange County Jail officials are weighing possible discipline for the corrections worker who mistakenly let Erika Espinoza out.
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