Manhunt Underway for Shackled Convicts Who Escaped Prison Van, Now At Large

New Mexico convicts, including a murderer, manage to escape prison van while in shackles and remain at large, now in street clothes without shackles: cops.

A New  Mexico manhunt is underway for two dangerous convicts - one a murderer and the other an armed robber who shot a sheriff's deputy in the face - after they managed to flee a prison van while locked in body shackles, authorities said.

Joseph Cruz, 32, had been sentened to life for first-degree murder and Lionel Clah, 29, had been convicted of armed robbery and two counts of intent to commit a violent felony on a peace officer.

Read: Could the Alcatraz Escapees Still Be Alive? New Evidence Claims They May Have Survived

The two were wearing white paper jumpsuits most likely escaped around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday when the driver stopped to get gas while transporting prisoners from one correctional facility to another, authorities said.

They were reported missing when the transport vehicle arrived at a Las Cruces prison about 1 a.m. Thursday carrying three inmates instead of five, CBS affiliate KRQE-TV reported.

Officials said both men are considered armed and extremely dangerous and should not be approached. Authorities said they are investigating how the men escaped.

Read: Massive Manhunt Underway After Murder Suspect Steals Guard's Clothes, Escapes Jail

Surveillance video at an Albuquerque business captured the pair about 4:30 a.m., brazenly smiling at the camera and wearing street clothes and no shackles.

State Police: Escaped prisoners spotted in Albuquerque #abq #nm

— Robert Browman (@robbrow) March 10, 2016 

Clah, who is 5 feet, 11 inches tall, is Native American with a large feather tattooed on his cheek. Cruz is Hispanic, stands 5 feet, 5 inches and has "Alias" tatooed on the back of his neck.

Both men also have tattoos on their arms.

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