A case of mistaken identity led to the inadvertent release Wednesday of a murder suspect from Van Nuys Municipal Court, authorities said.
Police were searching for Manuel Antonio Rodriguez, 23, a transient who was dressed only in a pair of blue pants when he was set free from a holding cell where he was awaiting arraignment on a murder charge, Los Angeles Police Detective Robert Womack said. Rodriguez and another man are accused of killing an unidentified transient Monday.
Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies released Rodriguez about noon after mistaking him for another man whom a judge had ordered released, Sheriff's Sgt. Ron Bailey said.
Deputies discovered the mistake at 3:45 p.m. when they sought to take Rodriguez to court for his arraignment, Bailey said.
Investigators had few clues to the whereabouts of Rodriguez, who told police he is a native of Durango, Mexico, Womack said.