The key two juveniles used to take off their handcuffs during an escape attempt didn't come from the youth corrections facility where they'd been staying, according to the director of the Division of Youth Corrections.
"We can account for all the keys at MOWEDA," said director Gary Dalton. Gustavo Garcia and Matthew Pollack, both 17, jumped out of a Salt Lake County deputy sheriff's car at the intersection of 700 West and 3500 South.A bailiff was driving them from MOWEDA, a secure juvenile facility in Davis County, to 3rd District Juvenile Court, 3577 S. 700 West, Tuesday morning when they escaped. They were on their way to court in connection with prosecutors' efforts to certify them as adults.
Both deputy sheriffs officials and youth corrections officials were unsure how the teens got a key to their handcuffs. Thursday afternoon, Dalton said youth corrections had conducted a thorough investigation into the case and determined that the key didn't come from MOWEDA.
MOWEDA director Pat Lambert said his employees get the juveniles dressed and ready to go, but deputies usually deal with the handcuffs and shackles.
However, it's unlikely the boys lifted the key from the bailiff transporting them to court, according to sheriff's spokesman Rod Norton.
"Finding out how they got the key is like finding a needle in a haystack," said Norton. "The boys had to have had the key prior to the transport unless, of course, our deputy gave it to them - and, under the circumstances, that would make no sense."
The sheriff's department is investigating how the key went undetected before the trip to court, added Norton. Lambert said the teens gave conflicting stories on how they acquired the key to the cuffs.
Both boys were in custody within four hours of escaping.
Garcia was arrested Monday in connection with a shooting. Pollack had an outstanding youth corrections warrant and faces burglary-related charges.
While riding in the van to court, the teens apparently used a stolen key to unlock their shackles. Once the van stopped, they jumped out, eluding guards and a bailiff, and ran to a neighboring junk yard.
Pollack, who lives in Salt Lake City, was found 45 minutes later hiding in the junk yard near 500 West and 3300 South. Police found Garcia after a Utah Transit Authority worker saw him lying in the back of a work truck parked near 700 West and 3600 South. Garcia fled when police approached, and detectives later found him hiding in a nearby store about 3:30 p.m.