3-feet, 11-inch tall man suspected in Silver Spring murder arrested in El Salvador
- From: Michael Snyder <msnyder@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2011 17:17:15 -0800 (PST)
Montgomery County murder suspect Henry Chavez arrived back in the
United States this morning and is awaiting extradition from Harris
County, Texas, back to Maryland, according to U.S. Marshals Service
and county police. Chavez was arrested in El Salvador Tuesday.
Chavez, 29, has been on the run since Montgomery County Police first
issued a warrant for his arrest on May 28, 2010, after he was
connected to the May 27 shooting death of Silver Spring resident
Hamilton Luis Rabanales Orozco, 25, police said. County police
officials continued to work the case through their membership in the
Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force, a local branch of the U.S.
Marshals Service, according to Bill Sorukas, chief inspector for the
service's International Investigations Branch.
Chavez is currently wanted in Montgomery County on one count each of
first-degree murder and the felony use of a handgun in the commission
of a violent crime. It is a warrant, so there are no attorneys yet
named in online records.
Chavez is expected to return to Montgomery County within the month,
said county police spokeswoman Lucille Baur, who could not provide
details as to when Chavez may arrive.
"We typically don't say specifically when someone is being transported
back into the county for a crime for everybody's safety," she said.
"You don't know what kind of associates this individual might have
that might try to free him from custody."
It is still unclear how police developed Chavez as a suspect in the
homicide, which occurred at about 8:30 p.m. May 27 when county police
were dispatched to the scene of a shooting near Georgia and Dexter
avenues in Silver Spring and found Orozco, of the 2100 block of Dexter
Avenue, suffering from injuries, according to police.
Orozco died in a county hospital within an hour, police said.
Baur declined to comment when pressed for information on how Chavez—
known to frequent the Silver Spring and Wheaton areas—was tied to the
crime. The only link police initially had linking Chavez to the death
was Chavez' unusual height: He stands only 3-feet, 11-inches tall and
weighs just 85 pounds.
"That's how he was partially developed as a suspect, but it would not
be appropriate for the detectives to talk about further details before
this case moves forward," Baur said, adding that detectives have yet
to interview Chavez.
"He was never taken into custody here, he was developed as a suspect,
detectives were searching for him, but his arrest in El Salvador was
the first time he was arrested," she said.
The Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force learned that Chavez was
likely in El Salvador through the course of its investigation, Sorukas
said. He added that, from there, federal immigration and law
enforcement agencies began working with Salvadoran counterparts to
bring about Chavez' arrest.
"Based on his charges in the United States, [Chavez] was decided to be
an undesirable person in El Salvador, and generally when El Salvador
gets rid of that undesirable person, the normal process is to deport
that person back their country of origin, in this case, the United
States," Sorukas said.
Sorukas went on to explain that, because Chavez was a U.S. citizen,
U.S. Marshals Service were able to use the assistance of the U.S.
Department of State in order to have him deported instead of
Extraditions occur when a non-U.S. citizen needs to be escorted back
to the United States to face charges for a crime committed here, and
they are quite complicated and can take several years to complete,
Because he was deported and not extradited, Chavez was arrested and
charged the moment he landed in Houston Thursday by officials from the
Gulf Coast Violent Offender Task Force, another wing of the U.S.
Marshals Service and a regional partner with the capital area task
force, Sorukas said.
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