Authorities in Argentina have agreed to extradite a women wanted for a vicious murder in the District.
Blanca Ortiz has been locked up in Buenos Aires since last February on charges she killed her ex-lover in 2007. U.S. Marshals are expected to bring her back to the United States in the next two weeks.
Ortiz is accused of killing Gabriela Lopez in January of 2007 in what police describe as a crime of passion. The two had been lovers and detectives believe Ortiz stabbed Lopez to death in the bathroom of the victim’s apartment.
In March of 2010, after the warrant was issued, but before Ortiz was in custody, the Commander of the D.C. Police Homicide Division, Captain Mike Farish said, “We have her on video, going in and out of the building itself.”
But it wasn’t enough to secure a warrant. In fact, it took detectives until September 2008 before prosecutors were convinced they had enough to charge Ortiz with the crime.
But by then, Ortiz was in Argentina. And that is where she stayed until February of this year when Interpol took her into custody.
At the time of the murder, Lopez was 29 years old and Ortiz was 44.
Although Ortiz was a prime suspect in the days after the murder, police had no authority to keep her from leaving the country.
“To have a hold put on someone’s passport status and ability to leave the country, you have to have more than a suspicion that they committed a crime,” said Captain Farish. “And at that point, we didn’t have more than a suspicion and by the time we had enough probable cause to show she did commit the crime, she had already left the states.”
Law enforcement sources say Ortiz fought extradition every step of the way.
The murder warrant charges her with second-degree murder, but she has since been indicted on a more serious charge of first-degree murder while armed.
This article was written by Paul Wagner and published by Fox News on September 16, 2011.
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