A suspect who fled the country after the slaying of a Utah radio host was apprehended by police in Chihuahua, Mexico, on Thursday.
Gabriela Sifuentes Castilla, who used the name Gaby Ramos on air, was fatally shot in her sister’s home in Taylorsville on Oct. 17, 2021. Castilla was a host of the local Spanish radio station La Mas Picosita on 1550 AM.
The suspect was Castilla’s former fiancé, Manuel Omar Burciaga-Perea. Charging documents said that Burciaga-Perea and Castilla, who were no longer together at the time, went to the same party prior to her killing and Burciaga-Perea became “enraged” when he saw her dancing with another man.
He was charged a year ago with aggravated murder and aggravated burglary, first-degree felonies; obstruction of justice, a second-degree felony; and aggravated assault and domestic violence in the presence of a child, third-degree felonies. Castilla’s 9-year-old room was in an adjoining room at the time of the shooting.
Burciaga-Perea was arrested “with the assistance of federal and state agents in Mexico and the United States Marshals Service,” according to a statement from thew Taylorsville City Police Department. The statement said that Taylorsville detectives “determined that Burciaga-Perea immediately fled to his hometown in Chihuahua, Mexico, after the shooting occurred” but they did not have the authority to detain him because he is a Mexican citizen.
However, it said, multiple U.S. agencies working with the Mexican State Attorney General’s Office and federal court in Mexico collaborated “to execute a warrant for the arrest of Burciaga-Perea.”
“The process was tedious and painstaking, but we are grateful for this significant step toward resolution and justice,” said Taylorsville Chief Brady Cottam in the statement.
Burciaga-Perea will be held at the Federal Justice Center in Mexico until his extradition hearing, the statement said.
Leto Sapunar is a Report for America corps member covering business accountability and sustainability for The Salt Lake Tribune. Your donation to match our RFA grant helps keep him writing stories like this one; please consider making a tax-deductible gift of any amount today by clicking here.