A Chicago man who spent 17 years on the run, including four on the FBI’s Top 10 Most Wanted list, for allegedly sexually assaulting two women, one of them fatally, was arrested in Mexico, authorities announced Friday.
Fidel Urbina, 41, whose last known address was in the 2100 block of South Fairfield Avenue in Chicago, is charged in Cook County Circuit Court with the sexual assault and murder of one woman and the beating and sexual assault of a second woman, according to an FBI news release. He has been the subject of a worldwide manhunt since 1999 after being charged in a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.
Urbina was taken into custody Thursday without incident, according to the FBI, just outside Valle de Zaragoza, Chihuahua, Mexico. He was apprehended by Policía Federal Ministerial Interpol. He will remain in custody pending extradition proceedings.
Urbina was charged in March of 1998 in relation to the kidnapping and rape of a Chicago woman and was released on bond while awaiting trial. During this time Urbina is suspected by authorities to have bludgeoned Gabriella Torres, 22, to death. Torres’ body was found in the trunk of a burning vehicle in an alley in the 2300 block of West 50th Street in Chicago, authorities said.
“Many family members have waited a long time for this day to come and they deserve the opportunity to face the accused in a court of law,” said Michael J. Anderson, special agent in charge of the FBI Chicago Field Office in a statement.
On July 20, 1999, a federal arrest warrant was issued for Urbina. On August 26, 2006, a provisional arrest warrant was signed by a Mexican federal magistrate.
The search for Urbina, authorities said, was coordinated by the Chicago FBI’s Violent Crimes Task Force, which is composed of FBI special agents, detectives from the Chicago Police Department, and Cook County Sheriff’s Police investigators.
“I'd like to thank our federal partners at the FBI for their outstanding work in apprehending Fidel Urbina, whose merciless actions against innocent victims robbed one family of a daughter and left a permanent scar on a woman fortunate enough to survive his attack,” said Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson in a statement. “Mr. Urbina’s capture should serve as a warning to violent offenders what can be accomplished through the combined weight of federal, state, and local law enforcement efforts.”
Urbina was the 497th person to be placed on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” list, which was established in 1950.