A convicted bomber serving a life sentence for a deadly 2007 blast on the Las Vegas Strip escaped from a Nevada prison after reportedly leaving a dummy in his cell — and his absence was not discovered until days later.
Porfirio Duarte-Herrera, 42, vanished from the Southern Desert Correctional Center in Indian Springs on Friday night, the Nevada Department of Corrections confirmed.
Officers at the medium-security prison didn’t realize the inmate was missing until a head count on Tuesday, at around 7 a.m., and they launched a search for him an hour later.
Duarte-Herrera had created a dummy, possibly out of cardboard, and left it in his cell to fool the guards and delay the discovery of his escape, 8NewsNow reported, citing multiple unnamed sources.
Gov. Steve Sisolak ordered an investigation into the prison break, calling it “unacceptable.”
“This kind of security lapse cannot be permitted and those responsible will be held accountable,” Sisolak said in a statement on Tuesday.
Duarte-Herrera, from Nicaragua, was convicted in 2010 of killing Willebaldo Dorantes Antonio, a 27-year-old hot dog stand vendor, using a motion-activated bomb hidden inside a coffee cup placed atop a car parked at the Luxor hotel-casino.
Records show his co-defendant, Omar Rueda-Denvers, remained in custody Tuesday. The 47-year-old from Guatemala is serving a life sentence at a different Nevada prison for murder, attempted murder, explosives and other charges.
Prosecutors said Rueda-Denvers masterminded the targeted attack as part of a revenge plot against Donarntes Antonio, who was dating his ex-girlfriend.
Corrections officials said Duarte-Herrera is 5-foot-4 and weighing 135 pounds with brown eyes and hair. He should be considered “dangerous.”
US Marshals are assisting with the search for the escaped murderer.