Murder Suspect Wanted for Killing His Girlfriend in 2003 Arrested in Mexico and Returned to Los Angeles
A former Compton man suspected by detectives with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department of murdering the mother of his children was returned on Wednesday to Los Angeles to face prosecution after his arrest in Mexico earlier this year, announced Bill Lewis, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office, and John Scott, Acting Sheriff of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD).
Juan Bravo Lopez, 52, a former resident of Compton and citizen of Mexico, was arrested in San Vicente, Baja, Mexico, on June 3, 2014, following extradition proceedings in Mexico City, Mexico.
According to a federal criminal complaint filed in United States District Court in Los Angeles last year, LASD detectives obtained an arrest warrant for Lopez and charged him with one count of murder on June 5, 2003, after he was identified as the suspect in the strangulation death of his then-girlfriend and mother of his children. According to the federal complaint, Lopez fled to Mexico with the victim’s three children, two of whom they shared biologically. LASD detectives learned the whereabouts of the victim’s third child in Mexico shortly after the murder and traveled there to return the child, then 11 years of age, to his family in the United States. In 2013, LASD detectives determined that Lopez had been incarcerated and, subsequently residing, in Mexico and requested assistance from the FBI’s Fugitive Task Force (FTF) in order to locate and apprehend Lopez.
On November 27, 2013, a federal warrant charging Lopez with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution (UFAP) was issued in United States District Court in Los Angeles. Following the FTF’s investigation, Lopez was arrested by Mexican police officers working with the FBI’s Legal Attaché in Mexico City, on behalf of the Los Angeles FTF and the LASD. Lopez has remained in custody in Mexico City throughout the extradition process since that time.
Lopez was escorted from Mexico by members of the FBI’s Fugitive Task Force, which is composed of agents and officers with the FBI and the Los Angeles Police Department. Lopez was turned over to the custody of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and is expected to be arraigned in Los Angeles Superior Court on the state’s charges. It is anticipated that the United States government will dismiss the federal warrant charging Lopez with UFAP and that he will be prosecuted by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Mexican authorities, to include the Police Policía Federal Ministerial (PFM) and the Procuraduría General de la República (PGR), assisted in the apprehension and extradition of Lopez.
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.