• Update: One of two inmates who fled from the Palo Alto courthouse was recaptured on Nov. 21, 2017. Read the story here.
The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office is offering a $25,000 reward for anyone with information that leads to two inmates who escaped from the Palo Alto courthouse on Monday morning.
Tramel McClough and John Bivins, both of East Palo Alto, fled from the courthouse on Monday, triggering a manhunt. Marquita Kirk of Sunnyvale and Rene Hunt of East Palo Alto have been arrested for allegedly assisting the duo, who remain at large and are considered dangerous, sheriff's officials said.
Kirk, 44, was arrested at about 5 a.m. on Tuesday at her home in Sunnyvale, according to the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office. According to investigators, Kirk had been in a romantic relationship with McClough.
"She rented the U-Haul and placed it in the area of the escape," Sgt. Rich Glennon, a spokesman for the Sheriff's Office, told the Weekly.
In addition, investigators arrested 54-year-old Hunt and booked him into county jail around 7 p.m. Tuesday for alleged conspiracy and being an accessory to the escape, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Hunt was described as a "known associate" to one of the escapees and made arrangements to bring the vehicle used by the two inmates once they left the courthouse, sheriff's officials said.
McClough, 46, and Bivins, 47, both fled from the courthouse, where they were scheduled for a hearing. Glennon said the two men were part of a larger group of inmates who were being escorted by two deputies.
During the process of being moved, McClough and Bivins somehow separated from the rest of the group, Glennon said.
Despite being restrained by chains and handcuffs, they were able to escape through the courthouse's emergency door at about 9:30 a.m. Monday, sheriff's officials said.
Investigators later found discarded restraints and a handcuff key outside the courthouse.
After fleeing the courthouse, the two inmates ran across the street into an awaiting Toyota Camry, which they then used to get to a U-Haul cargo van a few blocks away and fled the scene, according to Sgt. Reginald Cooks.
Investigators located the Camry a few blocks from the Grant Avenue courthouse. But while there was a report on Monday afternoon about a possible sighting of one of the men in Mountain View, deputies had not been able to locate the inmates, who are both doing time for robbery, false imprisonment and other charges.
According to the Sheriff's Office, McClough and Bivins were inmates at the Elmwood Correctional Facility in Milpitas. They were in Palo Alto as co-defendants in a trial, according to the Sheriff's Office.
According to a news release from the Sheriff's Office, Kirk was arrested on felony charges of conspiracy, and accessory after the fact. It wasn't immediately clear whether Kirk was in the Camry or in the U-Haul with the two escapees.
As of Friday morning, Kirk and Hunt have been released on bail, sheriff's officials said.
McClough and Bivins were both arrested in February on suspicion of stealing $64,400 worth of cell phones and other items from a Verizon Wireless store in Sunnyvale. Police said the two men forced the store's employees to open the store's safe, tied them up and locked them in a bathroom.
The two deputies responsible for transporting the escapees haven't been placed on administrative leave or suspension, sheriff's officials said. They each have more than 20 years of experience in law enforcement.
Anyone with information the location of McClough and/or Bivins is asked to call 911 of sheriff's office tip line at 408-808-4431.