It could take up to a year to extradite a 51-year-old Mexican national recently arrested in Tijuana on suspicion of raping and murdering two Stockton girls in 1982, an official said Wednesday.
Alfredo Reyes Reyes was on the lam for 29 years, U.S. officials say, ever since he and a second man now on California’s death row killed Renee Rontal and Nancy Rubia, both 13.
The FBI and Mexican federal police arrested Reyes on May 27 in a Tijuana pool hall, and he remains in the custody of Mexican officials.
According to a treaty between Mexico and the United States, prosecutors had a two-month deadline upon Reyes’ arrest to file their extradition request with Mexican officials.
San Joaquin County Deputy District Attorney Kevin Mayo, who is working with the U.S. State Department in Washington, said they’ve done all that.
“We’ve made all the deadlines,” he said. “Sometimes it can take up to a year (for the extradition). Sometimes it’s quicker.”
After a farm worker found the murdered girls, Jan. 25, 1982, on a Delta island, San Joaquin County sheriff’s detectives arrested Antonio Espinoza, now 50, who remains on death row at San Quentin State Prison.
Reyes, however, evaded capture, fleeing to his native Mexico.
Because Mexico officially abolished capital punishment in 2005, San Joaquin County prosecutors in their extradition request have had to assure Mexican officials they won’t seek a death sentence against Reyes.
Mayo, who helped prepare the request for Reyes, said his concern now is whether the documents were filed correctly in the eyes of Mexican officials.
“We haven’t heard that (there is a problem),” he said. “I guess now it’s a matter of waiting for the Mexican folks to respond.”
This article was written by Scott Smith and published by Recordnet.com on July 28, 2011.
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