Long Time Fugitive Jose Sifuentes Arrested
Dallas, Texas – Today, Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot announced that the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office, in collaboration with the Dallas Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, arrested long time fugitive and serial killer, JOSE SIFUENTES, 42, for the CAPITAL MURDERS of Maria De Lourdes Perales, Erica Olivia Hernandez, and Veronica Hernandez. These sexually motivated murders took place in Dallas County between 1998-2003.
When SIFUENTES was arrested in 2003 for the murder of Veronica Hernandez, the only known murder case at the time, his DNA was obtained. However, SIFUENTES was able to post bond and fled to Mexico.
In 2017, based on the DNA evidence discovered after SIFUENTES fled to Mexico, the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office Cold Case SAKI* Team worked directly with the Dallas Police Department to secure indictments against SIFUENTES for the February 15, 1998 capital murder of Maria De Lourdes Perales and the June 27, 1998 capital murder of Erica Olivia Hernandez. On July 25, 2017, a Dallas County Grand Jury returned capital murder indictments on both cases.
After the Grand Jury returned the capital murder indictments, the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office Cold Case (SAKI) Team submitted an application to the United States Department of Justice for an international provisional arrest warrant. The provisional arrest warrant authorizes the arrest, for purposes of extradition, of a non-US citizen from their home country. In January of 2019, a Mexican judge issued a warrant based on our provisional arrest request for SIFUENTES. This gave Mexican law enforcement authorization to locate and arrest SIFUENTES for the purpose of extradition.
In April of 2019, SIFUENTES was located in San Vicente de Gonzalez, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. On April 25, 2019, SIFUENTES was arrested by the Fiscalia General de la Republica (FGR) Interpol. SIFUENTES was then transported to Mexico City for extradition proceedings. On January 8, 2020, agents with the FBI’s Legal Attache Office (Legat) in Mexico City, transported SIFUENTES back to Dallas where FBI Dallas special agents and the Dallas Police Department took custody of SIFUENTES. He was booked into the Dallas County Jail on the evening of January 8, 2020.
Assistant District Attorney Leighton D’Antoni is the Chief of DA’s Cold Case (SAKI) Team and is the lead prosecutor on this case. Dallas County District Attorney’s Office Investigators Tammy Goodman and Jon Wakefield serve as the lead DA investigators.
Dallas Police Department Detective Noe Camacho investigated and filed the two capital murder cold cases from 1998. The Dallas County District Attorney’s Office would also like to highlight and thank Dallas Police Department Lt. Juan Salas, Lt. Lance Hunter, Sgt.
Vincent Lee, Det. Christine Ramirez, and Det. Michael Yeric and retired Det. John Palmer for their outstanding work on these cases over the last 17 years.
“It is cold cases such as this that reminds us how fortunate we are to have the federal Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) grant. It affords us the opportunity to investigate and vigorously prosecute cases that might never see a courtroom,” said ADA D’Antoni. “I want to thank the Dallas Police Department and the Dallas FBI Office for their hard work on this case as we seek to pursue justice on behalf of these women and their families. I also want to thank Department of Justice in Washington D.C. and U.S. State Department for their tireless efforts in helping secure the provisional arrest warrant and extradition of SIFUENTES back to Dallas.
The ability to solve and successfully prosecute cold cases cannot be overvalued. Prosecuting SIFUENTES is obligatory; not only for the victim’s family, but also for the community to know that a serial killer has been caught.”
D’Antoni further added, “Individuals who engage in repeated similar sexually violent homicidal activity against women tend to have more victims than law enforcement is aware of. I want to know if there are any other victims. If you are aware of any unsolved murders of young Latina women who may have worked as “meseras” in “taxi clubs” between 1993-2003, please contact either the Dallas Police Department’s SIU or the Dallas County District Attorney’s Cold Case (SAKI) Team.” The main number to call to provide information that can help ADA D’Antoni and his team get justice for these women is 214-653-3600.
*The Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) federal grant makes it possible for The Dallas County District Attorney’s Office to investigate and prosecute cold case homicides and sexual assault cases. The grant funds two investigator positions and two victim advocate positions. The grant also funds all costs associated with prosecuting these cases by funding two dedicated prosecutor positions