LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Police reports show new details in the 2001 murder of Jose Neri.
Wednesday, the Lubbock County District Attorney's Office announced Mexican authorities captured the suspect named shortly after Neri's body was found more than seven years ago, Joel Saucedo. Two months after the crime, Saucedo was indicted. He eluded law enforcement in two countries for more than seven years, but now he's behind bars in Mexico City.
"He seemed like a very nice man so I can't understand who would want to do that to him," said one of Neri's neighbors in 2001. Residents of the Corte Vista apartments were shocked to learn 45-year-old Jose Neri, the manger of the complex, was dead. Lubbock Police said he had been bound and exhibited signs of blunt force trauma.
The police report portrays a brutal attack inside Neri's apartment. He was nude, lying face down on his bed with his hands and feet bound with neckties. Blood was spattered on the headboard, walls and lots of blood was on Neri's head and neck. All the blood was dry.
Investigators became suspicious when they learned 28-year-old Joel Saucedo, the apartment's maintanance worker and a Mexican national, boarded a bus to El Paso just 24 hours before Neri's body was discovered.
Now, more than seven years later, there is a break in the case. "We're happy to announce that he was apprehended in Mexico two weeks ago,"said District Attorney Matt Powell. He added while the case may have become cold in the minds of many, detectives in Lubbock remained hot on Saucedo's trail.
"Once we found out that the fugitive had gone to Mexico we started making contact with the Mexican authorities trying to locate the subject. We also were working with the victim's family," said detective Rene Martinez.
Cooperation from Saucedo's family helped authorities track down the suspect, but for Martinez the work is far from over. "We still have a ways to go. We have 60 days to present our case to the Department of Justice who, in turn, will work with the state department to have it presented to the Mexican authorities through the U.S. Embassy," said Martinez.
Lubbock police and the DA's office must wait for Mexican authorities to decide whether or not to extradite Saucedo. "He's in custody. We'll be even happier when he gets to sit in front of a jury in Lubbock County," said Powell.
The last time Lubbock extradited a man from Mexico in the 80's and the process took about two years.
Suspect in 2001 murder found in Mexico
A major break in an 8 year old Lubbock murder case. The suspect in a 2001 Lubbock murder who fled to Mexico has been located and is now in custody.