Man 'On the Lam' Arrested 30 Years After Wife's Brutal Murder

Virginia's Jose Lazaro Cruz has been extradited back to States after trying to cross into Costa Rica
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 23, 2024 9:30 AM CST

A Virginia man on the run for more than three decades has been extradited back to the States, wanted in the long-ago killing of his then-estranged young wife. In a Monday presser, officials with the Fairfax County PD announced that Jose Lazaro Cruz is in their custody, nearly two years after he was found trying to cross the border into Costa Rica, reports CNN. Cruz had been identified by cops as the killer of 24-year-old Ana Jurado, found dead in the street on April 30, 1991. Officers responding to a call about a stabbing found her body, says Eli Cory, Fairfax County's deputy chief of investigation, who added that Cruz fled soon after the murder.

Cory said that Cruz first tried to cross into Canada, but he and his phony paperwork were turned away, with border agents taking note of a "fresh cut" on Cruz's hand. Cruz then apparently headed south and arranged for a smuggler to sneak him out of the country by crossing the Texas-Mexico border, eventually ending up in El Salvador, which initially had no extradition agreement with the US (that changed in 2000). There, Cruz is said to have taken a new wife and had more children, Cory said.

Cruz, now 60, was detained and arrested at the Costa Rica border in July 2022 and has since been charged with second-degree murder in the death of Jurado, a mom of three who police say fatally bled out after being slashed in the neck, reports the Washington Post. Police say that investigators worked Cruz's case for years, even heading to El Salvador in the '90s in search of information that would nab him, per the AP. "He avoided accountability for something he did nearly 33 years ago," says Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis. "We've never forgotten the family. We've never forgotten the seriousness of this crime." (More fugitive stories.)

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