EL DORADO The suspect in the slaying of Butler Community College student Emily Sander has been charged with capital murder, rape and aggravated criminal sodomy, prosecutors announced Wednesday.
Israel Mireles, 24, was arrested Wednesday morning at the home of a relative in Melchor Muzquiz, Mexico, about 70 miles southwest of Eagle Pass, Texas, on a warrant from Butler County, authorities said. Mireles is being held in Mexico City until he can be extradited to the U.S.
Sander, 18, was last seen alive on Nov. 23 as she left an El Dorado bar with a man police have identified as Mireles. Her disappearance drew nationwide attention after it was discovered that she also led a secret life as an Internet porn model named Zoey Zane.
Her body was found six days later, about 50 miles east of El Dorado, as police traced the route they believed Mireles took to pick up his 16-year-old girlfriend, Victoria Martens, in Baxter Springs.
Police have insisted that Sander's Internet activity had no connection to her disappearance. Authorities have not released details about the cause of death, but Butler County prosecutor Jan Satterfield said authorities believe the slaying was premeditated.
Kansas authorities received tips about Mireles' whereabouts in Mexico from several sources, and their Mexican counterparts had been monitoring his movements since at least Dec. 3, when he was charged in Butler County, she said.
Mexican authorities held off on arresting Mireles until they were assured of the legitimacy of Kansas prosecutors' case, Satterfield said.
Satterfield said her office also had to promise Mexican authorities that it would not seek the death penalty for Mireles. If convicted of capital murder, he would face life in prison without the possibility of parole, she said.
His extradition to the United States is expected to take 60 days, she said.
U.S. Marshal Troy Oberly said Martens, who is eight months pregnant, was found unharmed in Melchor Muzquiz, Mexico, but has refused to return to Kansas. Satterfield said prosecutors don't plan to file charges against her.
Oberly said Kansas authorities had offered to help her get back to Kansas.
"It doesn't sound likes she wants to return to the U.S. Our main concern was that she was alive and safe," Oberly said.
Satterfield said Martens has been in contact with her family in Kansas. Because there's not a warrant out for Martens' arrest, Satterfield said, Kansas can't compel her to leave Mexico.
"I am optimistic this will get worked out," she said. "Since she is well, it will be of her own free will."
Oberly said Mireles was arrested by Mexico authorities after a commotion, although he did not elaborate. Oberly said only that Mireles did not want to return the U.S. and that his family in Mexico did not want him to be arrested.
Mireles was born in Mexico and has been living in the U.S. legally.
He became the focus of a nationwide search after police found large quantities of blood in an El Dorado motel room where he was staying. Authorities have said that a bedspread that had been missing from that motel room was found close to Sander's body, along U.S. 54 near the Woodson County town of Toronto.
A rental car Mireles had been driving turned up Nov. 27 in Texas, where he also had family.