Thursday, October 31, 2013

Mexican National Andrade Tolentino Extradited To Chicago For Chávez Homicide

Raúl Andrade Tolentino today, at age 28 and Alma Chávez

Tolentino was extradited to the U.S. from Mexico to face a 2000 homicide in Chicago.

By H. Nelson Goodson
October 31, 2013

Chicago, Illinois - On Wednesday,  murder suspect Raúl Andrade Tolentino, 42, originally from Morelia, Mexico was extradited to the U.S. to face a homicide charge for the January 7, 2000 stabbing death of his former girlfriend Alma Chávez, 19, of Chicago. Tolentino was escorted by two FBI agents on a flight from Mexico and when he arrived on Wednesday night at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, he was taken into custody by Chicago authorities. He is scheduled for a bond hearing on Thursday.
In 2000, Tolentino went to the Chávez home on Pilsen and fatally stabbed her multiple times. He then stabbed himself to conceal his crime. Police arrested Tolentino after confessing to killing Chávez. Family members posted a $20,000 bond and a month later Tolentino skipped a court appearance and fled to California where his mother lived. The FBI in California went to the mother's address, but found that both Tolentino and his mother had returned to Mexico.
Years went by and Tolentino could not be located in Mexico. Benifacio Chávez, Alma's father travelled multiple times to Mexico and in 2006, he was able to get reliable information that Tolentino had been living in Michoacan. Authorities couldn't locate him and the case went cold again. 
The U.S. Department of Justice had issued a warrant for Tolentino for flight to avoid prosecution. He was featured in America's Most Wanted in 2012.
In 2008, the U.S. requested for the Mexican government to issue an arrest warrant for Tolentino. 
The Chavezes later learned that Tolentino had moved to his hometown in Morelia, Michoacan where he was working at a local pizza parlor. Alma's father later died and the case went cold once again.
In 2011, two Chicago Tribune reporters and a photographer went to Michoacan to follow up on information gathered from Alma's father. They discovered that Tolentino had registered to vote in Michoacan and had also registered a truck with the state. With the latest information by the reporters, authorities in Michoacan began to search for Tolentino until last February, when he turned himself in to authorities.
Tolentino had been held in a federal prison in Hermosillo, Sonora awaiting extradition, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Tolentino knew authorities in Mexico were hot on his trail, but he moved from house to house, used assumed names and worked in odd jobs to elude police, according to authorities in Mexico. 

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