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Arrest Made In San Diego City College Murder

Aired 2/20/12 on KPBS News.

A fugitive wanted since October, 2010 for the murder of his estranged wife on the campus of San Diego College was arrested Sunday in Tijuana.

A fugitive wanted since October, 2010 for the murder of his estranged wife on the campus of San Diego College was arrested Sunday in Tijuana, a police lieutenant said.

Shrine for Diana Gonzalez in her family's home in National City, in December, 2010.
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Above: Shrine for Diana Gonzalez in her family's home in National City, in December, 2010.

Tijuana Metropolitan Police arrested Armando Perez about 3:30 a.m. on Avenida Revolucion in downtown Tijuana. No additional details were released regarding the arrest, said San Diego police Lt. Kevin Rooney.

Diana Gonzalez, 19, was attending a class at San Diego College on Oct. 12, 2010 when Perez allegedly accosted her and then killed her inside a men's restroom. Perez fled to Mexico after the murder and was believed to have lived in there since the attack, Rooney said.

San Diego police homicide detectives obtained an arrest warrant charging Perez with murder. Additionally, the Mexican government issued a provisional arrest warrant permitting Perez' detention in Mexico for the purpose of extraditing him back to the United States, he said.

Rooney said Perez will be transported to Mexico City, where he will afforded an extradition hearing prior to his return to the United States.

San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis has come under fire for not charging Perez for an earlier incident in which he allegedly kidnapped and assaulted Gonzalez for several days. Dumanis maintains there wasn’t enough evidence to file charges at that point. She said her office has handled the case appropriately.

"In this case we have diligently pursued Mr. Perez since the murder and I am happy he has been arrested in Mexico," she said. "We have been following him for some time and we will hold him accountable."

Dumanis said her office has since created a committee that deals with high-risk cases such as Gonzalez’s.

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