Suspect in murder of a Lake Charles woman captured

Jose Manuel Garcia-Guevara, the man wanted in connection with the murder of a Lake Charles woman, has been captured and is in custody in Calcasieu Parish. FBI officials were joined by representatives of the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office and Calcasieu Parish District Attorney John DeRosier in making the announcement of Guevara’s return Wednesday morning.

Guevara has been the subject of a manhunt since 2008, when he allegedly murdered 26-year-old Wanda Barton in the presence of her four-year-old stepson. Guevara and the victim lived in the same mobile home park. Guevara allegedly broke into the victim’s home, raped her and brutally stabbed her to death.

The State of Louisiana, Calcasieu Parish, 14th Judicial District Court, charged Guevara with second degree murder, aggravated rape, and aggravated burglary, and a state warrant was issued for his arrest on April 17, 2008. A federal arrest warrant was issued on October 1, 2009, by the United States District Court, Western District of Louisiana, after Guevara was charged federally with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.

Guevara was placed on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” list on Monday, June 17, 2013. He surrendered to Mexican authorities as a result of an extensive and well- coordinated investigation by the Lake Charles Resident Agency of the FBI’s New Orleans Field Office, the FBI Legal Attaché in Mexico City, Mexico and special agents of the Diplomatic Security Service assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City. Guevara was held in a secure location by Mexican authorities.

“This fugitive investigation and extradition could not have been possible without the tremendous cooperation and collaboration of federal, state, local and international law enforcement partners,” stated Michael J. Anderson, Special Agent in Charge, FBI New Orleans. Accompanied by FBI agents, Guevara arrived on U.S. soil yesterday, and was transported to the local authorities in the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office for processing. He will now await arraignment on state charges.

“This has been six long years for Mrs. Barton’s family and I am so pleased Guevara will now face prosecution for the senseless murder of their loved one, Wanda Barton,” said Sheriff Tony Mancuso. “I would also like to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation to the FBI for their assistance in getting Guevara back to Calcasieu Parish, as well as placing him on the FBI’s ‘Ten Most Wanted Fugitives’ list. This extradition would not have been possible without them.”

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