Fugitive Suspected in 2002 Kidnapping, Slaying of Teen Is Found Dead in Mexico

A fugitive suspected in the 2002 kidnapping and slaying of a 15-year-old girl on her way to school in Montebello was killed in Mexico, investigators announced Tuesday.

Brenda Sierra, who was killed in 2002 after being kidnapped in East Los Angeles, is shown in a photo released by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

George Barraza, who fled to Mexico after the gang payback killing of Brenda Sierra, was on the U.S. Marshal Service’s “15 Most Wanted” list, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Investigators tracking his activity planned to extradite him to the United States for prosecution. But sheriff’s deputies learned recently that Barraza was killed in Sinaloa.

Three others suspected in Sierra’s slaying were arrested in 2015 after a years-long investigation and are awaiting trial. They have all pleaded not guilty. A fifth suspect was killed in an unrelated homicide in 2003.

Investigators have said Sierra was targeted because her brother had testified as a witness in a gang shooting about 10 days before she disappeared on Oct. 18, 2002.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.