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Sheriff’s Office announces $5,000 reward for info leading to arrest of jail escapee

Elias Buck, 22, of Durango is believed to have shot a police officer Friday night
Elias Buck, 22, is suspected of escaping from the La Plata County Jail on Dec. 27 and shooting a Farmington Police Department officer Jan. 7. He remained on the loose as of Sunday. (Courtesy of La Plata County Sheriff's Office)

The La Plata County Sheriff’s Office announced a $5,000 reward Sunday morning for information leading to the arrest of Elias Buck.

Buck, 22, of Durango is suspected of shooting officer Joseph Barreto in Farmington on Friday night.

Prior to the shooting, Buck had escaped the La Plata County Jail on Dec. 27. He had been placed in jail on suspicion of auto theft.

La Plata County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Chris Burke said a reward will be paid only for information that leads to the arrest of Buck. Those who provide tips to the Sheriff’s Office can remain anonymous if they choose.

Burke said the Sheriff’s Office still believes Buck is in the Four Corners.

The shooting Friday night took place when Barreto was responding to a report of a drunk driver, and found Buck walking with a woman identified as 28-year-old Victoria “Rossi” Hernandez.

Farmington Police Department/FacebookVictoria “Rossi” Hernandez

According to a news release on the Durango Police Department’s Facebook page, when Barreto contacted Buck and Hernandez, Buck pulled a gun and shot Barreto before fleeing the scene.

The police department described Buck as 6-feet 1-inch tall and about 185 pounds with green eyes and blond hair.

Elias Buck

In a news release Saturday, the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office said Buck’s actions prove he is “very dangerous,” and if seen should not be contacted. The Sheriff’s Office advises anyone who sees Buck to call 911 and report it immediately.

Jan 24, 2022
La Plata County jail escapee suspected in shooting of Farmington police officer

njohnson@durangoherald.com

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