Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
Lori Prichard Reporting Searchers are stepping up their manhunt for two convicted murderers, following several possible sightings.
Forty-nine-year-old Danny Martin Gallegos and 27-year-old Juan Carlos Diaz-Arevelo both escaped from the Daggett County jail on Sunday.
Chopper 5 has been in the search area near Stringham's Cabin, which is about 35 miles north of Vernal on Highway 191.
Right now, SWAT teams are searching on the ground with the help from dogs. Helicopter and airplane are searching from the air.
Based on the reports from witnesses, police believe the two men are still together and wearing their jail clothes,which are orange pants with a green T-shirt.
While the hunt is on for the two escapees, their victim's families are living in fear and on edge.
These families say they've been through enough having their loved ones murdered. Now, knowing those murderers escaped from prison brings the horrible memories flooding back.
"It just sucked me right back. I struggled. I struggled for two years. It affected me, my job, my family," Robert Seneca said.
Seneca thought he'd never have to think about Juan Diaz-Arevalo on the loose ever again. Diaz-Arevalo brutally murdered Seneca's stepdaughter, Lindsey Fawson. "I was talking to my counselor today and I said, ‘Just when you think your life is back to normal, this happens,'" Seneca said.
Jerry Snydergaard and his sister Jean Balliger know exactly how Seneca feels. Snydergaard's daughter, Tammy was ruthlessly killed by Danny Gallegos. "This is horrible what we're going through, horrible," Balliger said. "Now that he's escaped, we're rehashing it again. I thought we could at least get through it until 2025 when we had another hearing."
Now Balliger says she can't even sit outside without being afraid. "I am very uncomfortable sitting out here. This is my yard. And I love my swing and I love my yard," she said.
Seneca says his family is also afraid. That's because he and his wife are raising Lindsey's two children, one of which saw Diaz-Arevalo kill his mom in cold blood. "I'm more scared for my kids. I'm in charge of raising those kids. I'm trying to give them the best life I can give them," Seneca said.
The children have been taken out of school and have moved out of their homes. They plan to stay out until this nightmare is over.
The police and corrections department are also providing round-the-clock protection for these families.