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Fugitive Wanted in Chicago for 1994 Attempted Murder Arrested in Los Angeles After Being Identified Through Thumb Print

FBI Los Angeles July 26, 2012
  • Public Affairs Specialist Laura Eimiller (310) 996-3343

LOS ANGELES—The FBI’s Fugitive Task Force arrested a Lawndale man believed to have fled Chicago after shooting a man in the head at the residence of his estranged wife, announced Timothy Delaney, the Acting Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office; and Robert Grant, the Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Chicago’s Field Office.

According to a federal criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago, detectives with the Chicago Police Department (CPD) obtained an arrest warrant for Jose Hernandez Saldana, a Lawndale resident, based on CPD’s investigation that identified Saldana as the suspect in the September 15, 1994 shooting of an Illinois man at the residence of Saldana’s estranged wife in Chicago, Illinois. On September 16, 1994, Saldana was charged with one count of attempted murder in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois.

Attempts to locate Saldana at the time were unsuccessful and investigators with the CPD and the FBI established evidence indicating that Saldana left the state of Illinois and had likely fled to his native country of Mexico.

In 2012, a Cold Case Unit with CPD’s Area South Division revisited the case and enlisted assistance from the FBI’s Violent Crimes Task Force in Chicago, which is comprised of FBI agents, CPD detectives, and Cook County Sheriff’s Police investigators. Detectives and agents learned that a relative of Saldana’s had been arrested recently and that the relative’s vehicle had been released to a man identified as Carlos Rosalio Gonzalez. Investigators suspected the relative identified as Gonzalez was, in fact, their suspect, Jose Saldana, using a false name.

The FBI’s Special Processing Center in Clarksburg, West Virginia, was contacted and compared Saldana’s fingerprints with the fingerprints on file for the California driver’s license being used by the man identified as Gonzalez. The analysis resulted in a positive match for Saldana and confirmed that Saldana had been using the name Gonzalez.

On July 19, 2012, a federal warrant for Saldana was obtained after he was charged in U.S. District Court in Chicago with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution (UFAP).

Members of the Los Angeles Fugitive Task Force, which is comprised of agents and officers with the FBI and the Los Angeles Police Department, arrested Saldana in Lawndale without incident on Friday, July 20, 2012.

Saldana is being held in the custody of the Los Angeles Police Department pending extradition by the Cook County State Attorney’s Office. It is anticipated that the United States government will dismiss the federal warrant charging Saldana with UFAP and that he will remain in custody in Illinois while he awaits prosecution.

The fugitive investigation was the result of cooperation by the FBI’s Chicago and Los Angeles Field Offices; the Chicago Police Department, Area South, Cold Case Unit; and the Los Angeles Police Department.

The FBI continues to work with local law enforcement to apprehend violent criminals charged with state crimes who then flee the jurisdiction interstate or internationally. Photos and descriptions of many fugitives wanted by the FBI can be found at www.fbi.gov.