By Ken Stone
Reprinted with permission from Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association
Photo: Destiny Guns, 22, escaped from La Colinas women’s jail in Santee about 6 p.m. Saturday. Photo via Sheriff’s Department
April 13, 2019 (Santee) - When 22-year-old Destiny Guns jumped walls and fences Saturday night at Las Colinas women’s jail, she made local history — as the first-ever escapee from the Santee lockup.
But Thursday night, she ended a manhunt with her arrest in the parking lot of the jail, said sheriff’s spokeswoman Melissa Aquino.
“She surrendered to detectives with the San Diego County Fugitive Task Force and was subsequently booked into Las Colinas,” Aquino said Friday.
“There has not been an escape at the Las Colinas Detention and Reentry Facility in Santee prior to Destiny Guns,” she added. The women’s jail opened in August 2014, replacing the 1967-built Las Colinas Detention Facility.
Las Colinas operated mostly as a juvenile jail before becoming a women’s facility in 1979, says the jail's website.
Aquino declined to comment on how Guns escaped or whether measures are being taken to prevent a similar breakout, saying: “Your … questions involve facility security information, as well as details concerning an ongoing investigation.”
Guns was not the first escapee from the Santee location, however.
Two inmates at what was then called the Las Colinas Men’s Detention Facility escaped in 1989, according to the Los Angeles Times, “but sheriff’s deputies found them about an hour later less than 200 yards away.”
“Michael Clark and Donavan Chapman, both 19, escaped about 9:45 p.m. by throwing a mattress across the top of a 12-foot-high razor-wire fence and then climbing over,” the paper said.
Sheriff Bill Gore tweeted news of Guns’ arrest late Thursday.
“Sheriff’s Detectives have taken recent jail escape fugitive, Destiny Guns into custody. Ms Guns has been rebooked at Las Colinas Detention Facility for her original charges and an escape charge,” Gore said about 10:20 p.m.
Guns escaped about 6 p.m. Saturday from the jail at 451 Riverview Parkway.
She had been arrested April 1 on suspicion of possessing a stolen car, a news release from Crime Stoppers said, and had prior convictions for shoplifting and other theft-related offenses.
According to a brief media statement, Capt. James Madsen of the Las Colinas Detention and Reentry Facility reported that Sheriff’s Fugitive Unit detectives took Guns into custody about 9:30 p.m.
She was described as a low level prisoner with no history of violence.
According to Heavy.com, Guns climbed over several walls and fences to escape after undergoing a medical exam.
“There are some signs that she was planning her escape beforehand, since she apparently had the foresight to take off the clothes she was wearing, making it harder to trace her,” the site said.
“Police who were following Guns’ trail found her clothes in an open field near the jail. Police dogs tracked her to an area behind a shopping mall but then lost her trail.”