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Suspect in Deadly Carson Shooting Arrested in Mexico; Female Accomplice and Teenage Girl Still Missing

Roman Cerratos, left, Maricela Mercado, center, and Alora Benitez, right, are seen in photos released by the L.A. County Sheriff's Department.

Roman Cerratos, left, Maricela Mercado, center, and Alora Benitez, right, are seen in photos released by the L.A. County Sheriff's Department.

A man wanted in connection with a fatal shooting in Carson has been arrested in Mexico, while the man’s ex-wife, who is also suspected in the killing, and her 15-year-old daughter remained missing, authorities.

Roman Cerratos, 39, is accused of the April 16 shooting death of Jeffrey Appel, 32, of Las Vegas, in the 400 block of East Carson Drive, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

He was apprehended in “an undisclosed location in Mexico” on Thursday and returned to Los Angeles County to face charges on Friday night via LAX, Deputy Edmo Luna of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau said in a written statement.

Roman Cerratos, 39, is escorted back to Los Angeles County via LAX on June 14, 2019, after being apprehended in Mexico. (Credit: KTLA)

Roman Cerratos, 39, is escorted back to Los Angeles County via LAX on June 14, 2019, after being apprehended in Mexico. (Credit: KTLA)

He has been sought as a fugitive since the shooting, along with his ex-wife, 40-year-old Maricela Mercado. Mercado’s daughter, 15-year-old Alora Benitez of Redondo Beach, was last seen with the suspects the day after the killing. Authorities issued an Amber Alert for the girl shortly after the shooting.

A BMW the suspects and missing girl had last been seen in was found abandoned in the border town of San Ysidro about a week later, officials said. The FBI joined the search for the missing girl and suspects.

The City of Carson and the County of Los Angeles teamed up to offer a $20,000 reward in connection with the killing.

KTLA’s Nidia Becerra contributed to this report.

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