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Enforcement and Removal

ICE-led BEST team locates fugitive juvenile wanted for death of 2-yr-old girl

Mexican authorities transfer custody to ICE after juvenile flees to Mexico

LAREDO, Texas - A 16-year-old juvenile, who was wanted by Laredo Police Department in connection with the death of a 2-year old girl, was turned over by Mexican authorities to the local Border Enforcement Security Task Force (BEST) on Friday. BEST is led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

The juvenile fled to Mexico to evade arrest by U.S. law enforcement authorities for the alleged murder of Katherine Cardenas, 2, who was found lifeless at her parent's residence on Sept. 5.

Evidence collected and forensic lab results identified the 16 year-old as the primary suspect in the toddler's murder. Laredo PD detectives collaborated with ICE and the Policia Minesterial del Estado de Tamaulipas to then locate the suspect in Mexico.

ICE agents assigned to the Laredo BEST secured information that identified the location of the juvenile in Mexico. Policia Minesterial del Estado de Tamaulipas arrested the juvenile on an Oct. 8 State of Texas murder warrant. Mexican authorities interviewed the juvenile and determined that he was in Mexico illegally. At about 1 am on Oct. 9, Mexican authorities walked the suspect over Laredo's Gateway to the Americas international bridge, and transferred custody to ICE agents.

The 16-year-old suspect is being held in Duvall County, Texas, on state murder charges. The Capital Murder charge does not carry a death penalty in this case because the suspect is a juvenile. The Webb County District Attorney is prosecuting the case.