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New Mexico Prison Escapee’s Sister Charged

MARCH 12: Second of 2 Escaped New Mexico Convicts Apprehended 1:43

The sister of a convicted murderer who escaped from a New Mexico prison was charged Thursday with helping her brother before he was recaptured, state police said.

Olivia Cruz, 38, sister of convicted killer Joseph Cruz, is charged with assisting escape, state police said. She was already being held on unrelated warrants.

Police said she made contact with Cruz a day after Cruz and another inmate, Lionel Clah, escaped from a prison van on March 9, and that she tried to find them a place to stay in Albuquerque.

Olivia Cruz is seen in this photo distributed by New Mexico State Police. New Mexico State Police

Olivia Cruz allegedly visited two locations trying to find a place for Cruz and Clah to stay, police said. She let them stay in the apartment where she was staying on March 10, but the owner later made them leave, police said.

Cruz was recaptured in Albuquerque Friday, and Clah surrendered to police the next day after the woman he was staying with turned him in, police said.

Two other women were arrested Wednesday in connection with the escape.

Cruz is serving a life sentence for a 2006 murder. Clah is serving a 30-year sentence for shooting at police officers following a 2007 police chase, according to police and court records.

New Mexico State Police are investigating what help the inmates may have received.

They apparently picked handcuff locks to escape from a prison van near Artesia at around 8:30 p.m. MST Wednesday evening, officials said, but arrived at a hotel room in Albuquerque — nearly 250 miles away — by 2 a.m. Thursday.