LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A 24-year-old man suspected of murder was still at large Monday after mistakenly being set free last week, and now the family of the victim wants answers.
According to authorities, Steven Manzo was mistakenly set free the day after he was supposed to be arraigned on murder charges in connection with the killing of 24-year-old Salvador Corrales — a 24-year-old father of two.READ MORE: Man Fatally Shot In Officer-Involved Shooting In San Fernando
“He loved his kids,” Selena Barajas, the mother of Corrales’ children, said. “And it’s already bad enough as it is, and we’re just reliving what we lost.”
Barajas, along with Corrales’ sister and mother, pleaded Monday for the justice they thought they were close to getting.
“They already took a big part of me and them,” Barajas said. “So it’s not fair for them not to take responsibility for their actions.”
Police say Corrales was found dead in a parking lot in July of 2018 after being shot nine miles away in Long Beach. Manzo was arrested on suspicion of murder by the Long Beach Police Department last March.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said Manzo was supposed to be in court for his arraignment the day before, but was never transferred, leading the office to dismiss the case and immediately refile the same charges as a way to delay the arraignment.
A judge ordered Manzo to remain in custody, though it was not immediately clear why that did not happen or why he was able to walk free from the Century Regional Detention Center last Tuesday.READ MORE: Man Fatally Shot In Rowland Heights
“We found out through social media,” Marin Zamarripa, Corrales’ sister, said. “Nobody told us what happened.”
Soon after his release, authorities launched a manhunt in downtown Los Angeles, stopping traffic on the 101 Freeway after a reported sighting, but Manzo remained at large.
The court said in a statement that it was reviewing the situation and would take “every necessary measure” to make sure it does not happen again.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said Wednesday that it had not “erroneously released” Manzo, stating that the department had received an order for release.
On Monday, the department took to social media to state that it was the “responsibility of the investigating agency and the DA’s Office to file or refile criminal charges.”
It is the responsibility of the investigating agency and the DA’s Office to file or refile criminal charges. LASD was not the investigating agency. Additionally, LASD was mandated to follow the Court’s ORDER FOR RELEASE. Our hearts go out to the family and community. https://t.co/CfRY0Wskyt pic.twitter.com/NDXQpvORgR
— LA County Sheriffs (@LASDHQ) March 16, 2021MORE NEWS: LAUSD Begins Phased-In Reopening Starting This Week