A man accused in the stabbing death of his estranged wife, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer, was extradited to Chula Vista, California on Wednesday from Mexico.
Jesus Arteaga Garcia, 30, will be charged in the death of Maribel Arteaga, 28, and her unborn child. She was two months pregnant when she was fatally stabbed on Dec. 9, 2009, at her Chula Vista apartment in front of the couple’s two sons, who were ages 4 and 6 at the time.
Chula Vista police investigated and obtained an arrest warrant for Arteaga, who was believed at the time to have fled to Mexico to avoid prosecution.
On Jan. 28, Mexican federal authorities, working with deputies from the U.S. Marshals Service, arrested Arteaga in Tijuana near his sister’s apartment. He was being held in Mexico City before extradition.
On Wednesday, U.S. Marshals Service deputies transported him to San Diego and released him to the custody of Chula Vista police investigators. He will face two counts of murder, two counts of child abuse, and a special circumstances allegation for committing more than one murder. He was being held in county jail on a no-bail warrant.
At the time of the arrest, Deputy U.S. Marshal Steve Jurman said that Arteaga was receiving assistance in Tijuana from his sister and his parents, who also live there.
Maribel Arteaga worked as a customs officer at the Tecate Port of Entry.
Her estranged husband had come to her apartment, and the two had argued about the visitation of their children, authorities said. She was stabbed in the back with a long-blade knife and died at a hospital. Before she died, she identified her estranged husband as the assailant.
Chula Vista Police Chief David Bejarano called the extradition “another important step in bringing justice to Maribel’s family.”
Jurman said earlier that relatives in Tijuana were apparently sympathetic to Jesus Arteaga, and that during interviews with authorities, they said that “Maribel got what she deserved.”
This article was written by Susan Schroder and published by Sign On San Diego on July 27, 2011.
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