updated 3/30/2008 8:01:34 PM ET 2008-03-31T00:01:34

One of two suspects in the killing of a University of Colorado student who was vacationing in a Mexican resort town has escaped from jail, police said Sunday.

The guard on duty accidentally released Alfonso Ramos Sastre Friday morning after he apparently swapped clothing with a cellmate, said a spokeswoman for the Puerto Vallarta municipal police who wasn't authorized to speak on the record.

Ramos and another man had been arrested in connection with the Wednesday shooting death of 21-year-old David Parrish of Boulder, Colorado, she said. Police did not name the second suspect but local media identified him as Daniel Vargas.

Embassy spokeswoman Judith Bryan said Parrish was shot when he resisted a robbery attempt.

The Denver Post reported that Parrish was a third-year student studying geography who graduated from Boulder High School.

Ramos struck up a friendship with his cellmate, who was arrested for allegedly robbing a bottle of wine, the police spokeswoman said. Ramos then offered the man about $5,000 to swap identities.

Ramos easily escaped after impersonating him, she said.

Municipal authorities suspended local Public Safety Director Victor Manuel Hernandez and questioned nine police officers in connection with the jail break, said a second police spokesman who couldn't be named. Seven of the officers were later released.

Jailbreaks are relatively common in Mexico, even in maximum-security prisons.

Mexico's most-wanted drug lord, alleged Sinaloa drug cartel chief Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, escaped from federal prison in 2001 in a laundry cart by bribing guards.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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