Murder-for-hire suspect arrested in Spain, FBI says
A woman accused of hiring someone to kill her wealthy Canadian husband on the U.S. Caribbean island of Puerto Rico was arrested on Sunday by police in Spain after being sought for five years in the alleged murder-for-hire scheme, according to the FBI.
Moises Quinones, the FBI's spokesman in Puerto Rico, said Aurea Vazquez Rijos was arrested by the Spanish police at an airport in Madrid. The Puerto Rican suspect was taken into custody as she was getting off a flight from Italy, where she has lived for years and gave birth to another man's twins.
A U.S. grand jury charged Vazquez in 2008 with offering a man $3 million to kill her husband, real estate developer Adam Anhang. She denied the charges but refused to cooperate with investigators and fled Puerto Rico for Italy, where she lived in Florence and more recently, Venice.
Abe Anhang, the victim's father, on Sunday said authorities told him that Vazquez's sister and her former husband also have been charged and arrested in Puerto Rico in connection with his son's killing in 2005.
“We're hopeful that after such a long time that justice will be done,” Abe Anhang said by telephone from his home in Winnipeg. “It's been almost five years since she's been a fugitive in Italy.”
After Anhang's murder, Vazquez refused to cooperate with investigators and filed a civil suit against her late husband's family, seeking $1 million in damages and millions more from his estate. A judge in Puerto Rico dismissed her suit.
Anhang, 32, was beaten and stabbed to death in a popular tourist district of the Puerto Rican capital in September 2005 as he walked with Vazquez. He was killed as the couple walked from a restaurant he had bought for her in historic Old San Juan where they discussed their pending divorce. She sustained minor injuries in the attack.
A wrongfully convicted Puerto Rican man spent eight months in a maximum security prison for the high-profile slaying of Anhang before getting released in June 2008 after another man, Alex Pabon Colon, was indicted for the murder. Since then, the FBI has been working to arrest Vazquez but ran into difficulties since Italy does not extradite suspects who face the death penalty.
According to the 2008 indictment, Vazquez offered Pabon money and lured Anhang to the tourist district the night of his death. The indictment said two other unidentified people were involved in the plot.
Anhang had developed beachfront condominiums and hotels in Puerto Rico and also was CEO of an online gambling software company based in Costa Rica. He had moved to Puerto Rico a year before the attack.
The FBI said the extradition process from Spain could take between six and nine months. The U.S. agency said the arrest of the Puerto Rican fugitive was the result of a joint effort between the FBI's legal attaches, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Puerto Rico, Spanish police, Interpol and U.S. Department of Justice.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Mideast crisis goes ‘from bad to worse’ as truce shatters
- Iraqi terrorists are Islam’s enemy, Saudi cleric warns
- Afghanistan’s bid for transition tenuous
- Crisis puts Pakistan army back in game
- Kiev attacks on 2 fronts; Poroshenko preps to meet Merkel, Putin
- Israel: Rockets fired from Gaza, cease-fire broken
- Islamic State’s carnage spreads as Yazidis slain
- Scottish independence campaign edges forward despite TV debate flop
- European Union offers to manage Gaza’s border crossings, assure Israel’s security
- Egypt: Israel, Hamas to extend temporary truce
- India’s PM ashamed of rapes