RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – The New Mexico Corrections Department and New Mexico State Police are searching for an inmate that walked off assignment Tuesday afternoon in Rio Rancho. Officials are encouraging nearby residents to remain indoors and secure their homes and vehicles.


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A work crew from the Central New Mexico Correctional Facility’s minimum-security unit was out on assignment near Rivers Edge when Manuel Villalobos walked off after claiming he was going to the restroom. When he did not return, correctional staff notified officials.

The correctional facility is working with NMSP to search for Villalobos. Villalobos is currently serving a sentence for breaking and entering, burglary of a vehicle, possession of burglary tools, and tampering with evidence.

Law enforcement warns residents not to approach the suspect and to call 911 if they believe they have had contact with Villalobos. Report suspicious activity or any information on inmate Villalobos’ whereabouts to the Incident Command Center at 505-263-3623.