Oscar Lozano Garcia, charged with criminal homicide a year ago for the late 2012 murder of a Hazleton mother, has been arrested in Mexico and will be extradited back to the United States.
Garcia's arrest was announced Wednesday by Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis.
She said the murder suspect was arrested Monday in Puebla, Mexico and transported to the Instituto Penal Oriente in Mexico City, where he will remain throughout his extradition proceedings.
He will, said the district attorney, "be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."
Salavantis said Garcia was found and apprehended by the U.S. Marshal Service's Fugitive Task Force.
The district attorney's advice for fugitives: "You can run but you cannot hide."
On Dec. 14, 2012, Hazleton police began searching for Maria Brea. She had failed to pick up her two children from school and family members were unable to contact her.
Police found the woman's body in the attic of her apartment in Hazleton. She had been strangled to death. Her body was bound with tape and wrapped in plastic.
Garcia had been seen on the steps leading to Brea's apartment complex shortly before she went missing. And on the day when she could not be found, he told his employer at the plant where he worked that he was returning to Mexico because he had a fight with his girlfriend and the cops were looking for him. His plant manager and co-workers saw scratches on his face and arms.
Law enforcement officials knew Garcia entered Mexico on Dec. 17, 2012, at Brownsville, Texas.
The door to the attic where Brea's body was found had been padlocked with a lock belonging to Garcia and Pennsylvania State Police discovered fingerprints belonging to Garcia on the tape used to wrap her body.
On Jan. 22, 2013, Gracia was charged with criminal homicide.
In thankingparticipating individuals and agencies at her Wednesday news conference to announce the arrest, the district attorney said: "This is a prime example of the continued work our law enforcement does every day to keep our communities safe, even when they do not receive recognition for it."