Suspect in Wife’s Murder Facing Justice After Nearly 33 Years on the Run

Suspect in Wife's Murder Facing Justice After Nearly 33 Years on the Run

( – Police found a 24-year-old mother of three, Ana Jurado, stabbed to death near her home in West Falls Church, Virginia, on April 30, 1991. Authorities investigating the case quickly honed in on her estranged husband, then-24-year-old Jose Lazaro Cruz, as the prime suspect in the crime. However, before they could bring him in, he fled to El Salvador, where he remained on the lam for decades. Now, authorities can finally begin to serve justice for Jurado. Cruz is behind bars in Virginia, awaiting trial.

On Monday, January 22, Fairfax County Police held a press conference, announcing that prosecutors had charged Cruz with Jurado’s murder. When he fled in 1991, reportedly with the help of a smuggler, El Salvador and the United States had no extradition agreement in place between the two countries. Authorities also didn’t know where he’d fled, making the situation more complex. That didn’t stop law enforcement from traveling to El Salvador in 1999 to piece together information to continue the case.

Investigators found that Cruz had remarried and had several children while in the Latin American country. He also worked as a truck driver. The case came to a head in 2022 when authorities caught Cruz trying to enter Costa Rica from Nicaragua. They arrested him, and the US initiated the extradition process. It took more than a year, but Cruz now sits behind bars in Virginia. It’s unclear whether he has an attorney or what specific charges he faces in connection with Jurado’s death.

The murder investigation is apparently a family affair. The homicide detective responsible for bringing charges against Cruz in 1991 has passed away. However, his son, Aaron Pfeiff, a second lieutenant with Fairfax County Police, was present at the conference announcing Cruz’s arrest.

Police are still seeking information in the case and ask that anyone with knowledge contact the Major Crimes Bureau by calling 703-246-7800.

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