A man who fled the U.S. after killing his estranged wife 30 years ago has been extradited from Costa Rica to face charges in Virginia, where he allegedly committed the crime.

Ana Jurado was 24 when she lost her life at the hands of estranged husband Jose Lazaro Cruz, also 24 at the time, who slashed her throat on April 30, 1991. Police responding to an emergency call found Jurado lying in the road outside her West Falls Church, Va., home. Her throat was slashed, and she had upper body trauma. She had bled out and was declared dead at the scene.

Jurado had three children — two daughters, one 7 months old and the other age 3. Her 4-year-old son was living in El Salvador, Northern Virginia Magazine reported.

Lazaro Cruz was “identified as the perpetrator” at the time, Fairfax County police said Monday. They got a warrant a month after his wife’s murder, but before they could nab him, he fled. First he tried to head to Canada, cops said, but they wouldn’t let him in. He then made it to El Salvador, with a smuggler’s assistance. Police searched for him there in 1999 and gathered evidence as to his possible whereabouts that helped lay the foundation for an arrest.

In 2022, they caught a break when the U.S. Department of Justice told detectives that Lazaro Cruz had been picked up while crossing into Costa Rica from Nicaragua. He was held there for a year and a half, and last Thursday was extradited to the U.S. in custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

“This really isn’t a traditional cold case. It was solved virtually right away,” said Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis at a Monday news conference. “He was on the lam. He was on the run. He avoided accountability for something he did nearly 33 years ago.”

While a fugitive, Lazaro Cruz became a truck driver and started a new family, Northern Virginia Magazine reported.

Lazaro Cruz, now 60, is being held at Fairfax County jail while awaiting trial.

“We’ve never forgotten the family,” Davis said. “We’ve never forgotten the seriousness of this crime.”

With News Wire Services

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