YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Man Is Held in 3 Killings

Officials investigating three Ventura County slayings in spring 2004 track down the suspect, Rudolfo `Rudy' Negrete, 24, in Acapulco.

October 21, 2006|Gregory W. Griggs | Times Staff Writer

The principal suspect in three Ventura County slayings in spring 2004 was arrested Friday in Acapulco after a 30-month manhunt, authorities said.

Rudolfo "Rudy" Negrete, 24, was being transported Friday by Mexican authorities from the coastal resort city to a federal prison near Mexico City, where extradition proceedings will begin, said John Clark, chief inspector of the U.S. Marshals Service in Los Angeles.

"I'm not sure how long he's been there, but we just developed information in the past two months of him being in several locations in and around Acapulco," Clark said. "The arrest of Rudolfo Negrete was a textbook example of the benefits of the international law enforcement community, the judicial system and governments working together."

Negrete was living in Oxnard on April 16, 2004, when he allegedly shot Oxnard College student Daniel Campos, 21, in the back of the head and left his body in a strawberry field south of Camarillo.

The next afternoon, a campus police officer at Cal State Channel Islands in Camarillo found the bodies of Kern County residents Alexander Lee Jordan, 24, and his pregnant wife, Cynthia J. Jordan, 22, who also were killed execution style. Their bodies were found a few miles from Campos' in a wooded area off Potrero Road. The Taft couple's 2002 Chevrolet Impala had been stolen.

The slayings were the subject of nationwide news reports, and Negrete was profiled several times on the Fox television program "America's Most Wanted."

A month after the slayings, Ventura County sheriff's detectives announced that Negrete, who was initially linked to Campos' death, was also a suspect in the Jordans' killings and that a $10,000 reward was offered.

In November 2004, a second suspect, Jose Manuel Ramirez, 21, also of Oxnard, was arrested after he arrived at a Ventura County mental health center seeking treatment. He was taken into custody on a probation violation but was never charged in the killings.

After being held for more than 18 months for other crimes, Ramirez was released this summer because of insufficient evidence connecting him to the killings, said Capt. Ron Nelson, spokesman for the Ventura County Sheriff's Department.

Ramirez could be charged once Negrete returns to the United States, Nelson said, adding, "He's still involved in the case. He's still a suspect."

It is unclear how soon Negrete might be returned, however.

Unless he waives his opposition to being extradited, the case could drag on.

"The process could take months or even years," Clark said. "That's beyond our control now. That will depend on him and his attorneys."

Los Angeles Times Articles