Erika Aguilar Orange County Reporter

Erika Aguilar
Contact Erika Aguilar

Erika Aguilar covers Orange County for KPCC. Prior to that she was the station's crime, courts and public safety reporter.

Erika joined KPCC in 2012 after four years reporting on environmental issues for public radio station KUT in Austin, Texas, where she earned recognition for her work covering the 2009 shootings at the Fort Hood Army post in Killeen, the 2011 Texas wildfires and the state’s ongoing drought. Some of her reporting has been featured on NPR and American Public Media’s "Marketplace."

Before joining KUT, Aguilar worked in TV news as an assignment editor and assistant producer for the CBS affiliate in Austin. She’s a journalism and history graduate of Texas State University.

Any tips or story ideas can be sent to Erika by email at

Stories by Erika Aguilar

What went wrong in the OC jail escape

Key questions remain about what went wrong that led to three inmates escaping from an Orange County jail. Meanwhile, sheriff's officials have stopped talking.

OC jail escape: Deputies may have improperly counted inmates

Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens said it appears inmate counts done on the day three men escaped from Central Men's jail were not conducted properly.

Jail ESL teacher held for aiding in Orange County escape

The teacher is suspected of providing maps and other tools that helped three inmates with their escape. She is suspected of having "some type of relationship" with one of them.

5 arrests made as deputies hunt 3 inmates who escaped OC jail

Orange County Sheriff Hutchens said the department expects to make additional arrests on Thursday.

Roof has been the 'common denominator' in past OC jail escapes

Orange County Sheriff officials said Tuesday that past inmates have escaped Central Men's Jail before, many using the roof. Three escapees remain on the loose.

Reward for escaped Orange County inmates gets multiplied by 4

The Orange County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to add $150,000 to the reward for information leading to their arrest, bringing the total to $200,000.

Sheriff's officials appeal to public in hunt for escaped OC jail inmates

At least one of the inmates is a documented Vietnamese gang member, and investigators say there's a possibility that the escapees could have made contact with the gangs.

Foes say proposed desalination plant vulnerable to flooding

Environmentalists opposed to a proposed desalination plant in Huntington Beach are using this week's King Tides to show the plant's vulnerable to flooding.

Deaths of homeless rose drastically in 2015 in OC

Deaths among homeless people in Orange County jumped 53 percent over the last two years, according to coroner's data.

Anaheim restarts the process of revamping elections

After rejecting a widely supported map last year, the Anaheim City Council is restarting the process of carving the city into voting districts.

El Niño storms test the hardiness of OC's homeless

Storms this week will serve as a barometer for Orange County homeless services officials to figure out how much extra shelter space is needed.

Homeless people can get free IDs under new state law

Homeless people needing a new or replacement state-issued identification card can get one for free because of a state law that goes into effect January 1.

Report: LA unprepared to protect homeless during El Niño

L.A.'s Civil Grand Jury found a severe lack of shelter space to accommodate the large homeless population. But after days of storms, much shelter space remains vacant.

​'Lack of oversight' led to informant scandal in Orange County

A committee released a report Monday that says "lack of oversight" and a "failure in leadership" led to the jailhouse informant controversy.

Orange County seeks ‘homeless czar’

Orange County officials are hiring a "homeless czar" to coordinate county programs across departments and report to the CEO and Board of Supervisors.