Felon Escapes Merced County Area Jail

An inmate serving a two-year sentence for probation violation and narcotics charges escaped a Merced County Jail early Monday morning, the Merced County Sheriff's Department said.

Deputies noticed Juan Gabriel Ruvalcaba Medina, 29, was missing from the John Latorraca Correctional Center around 2:45 a.m. after an inmate head count.

Deputies say Medina was working on a kitchen crew when he escaped.

A door to the kitchen was forced open, allowing Medina to exit the facility and get into a nearby vehicle that was waiting to pick him up, the sheriff's department said.

Medina is described as a 5 foot 6 inch, Hispanic male adult that weighs around 140 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes and was last seen wearing green jail clothing.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Merced County Sheriff's Office at 209-385-7445. All callers will remain anonymous.