Joseph Cruz, 32, and Lionel Clah, 29
-- both considered to be violent -- escaped from the van about 8:30 p.m. Wednesday near Artesia
while the state Corrections Department attempted to transport them, the New Mexico State Police said.
They were spotted hours later in Albuquerque, more than a 250-mile drive to the northwest, police said. Surveillance video showed the fugitives in a building early Thursday in western Albuquerque, police said.
Police said the Albuquerque images, which they posted to Facebook
, showed Cruz in a long-sleeve, light brown shirt or jacket with blue jeans and glasses, and Clah wearing a red or maroon shirt with blue jeans. CNN affiliate KRQE-TV
reported the images show the men in an Albuquerque hotel standing near an elevator.
Albuquerque police said they searched the area for hours Thursday night and closed some streets. But the streets were reopened by 1 a.m. Friday, and police said the fugitives still were on the loose.
The Corrections Department said the escapees have tattoos: Cruz has "Alias" on the back of his neck and a tribal symbol on his right ear. Clah has a feather on his left cheek.
Details about Wednesday night's escape and how they traveled to Albuquerque weren't immediately available. When Cruz and Clah escaped, they were in white prisoner jumpsuits and bound by shackles, state police said.
No shackles were apparent in Thursday's surveillance images from Albuquerque.
Cruz had pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and child abuse, according to the New Mexico Corrections Department.
Clah had pleaded guilty to armed robbery with a deadly weapon, and no contest to assault with intent to commit a violent felony upon a peace officer.
New Mexico Corrections Department Cabinet Secretary Gregg Marcantel said the prison transport van made several stops Wednesday. He indicated the most likely point of escape came during a stop for gas in Artesia.
When they made their getaway, both men were on their way from the Penitentiary of New Mexico near Santa Fe to the Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility in Las Cruces.