(MEXICO CITY) — A man on the run for nearly three decades was found and captured in a small town 400 miles outside Mexico City, Lee County Sheriff’s Office said in a release.
Earl Jay Slaton, 72-years-old, had been missing for the last 27 years and wanted on a “warrant for Sexual battery and Aggravated Child Abuse,” the release said.
The capture comes after the U.S. Marshals Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force received a tip at the end of 2017, the release said.
Lee County Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Marshals detective Rich White told ABC News it is common for the departments to cycle through old files to see if there are ever new leads. He added that Slaton’s case is the oldest file in their memory.
When investigators found Slaton’s family in the United States, they told law enforcement they had no contact with him since this alleged crime was committed, the release said.
“Utilizing all of the US Marshals investigative resources, a lead was eventually developed that Slaton was now living with his new wife in the remote Nayarit region of Mexico, some 400 miles west of Mexico City,” according to the release.
The lead was sent to the US Marshals in Mexico City, who was able to speak to Mexican authorities, White said. Slaton ended up being found in a small village of San Juan de Abajo, according to the release.
Slaton was immediately deported to Los Angeles where he began his extradition to Florida 30 days later, White told ABC.
During his extradition, Slaton became sick in Colorado and needed to be hospitalized, White said. Lee County Sheriff’s Office had to fly to Colorado on Wednesday and bring him back to Florida. They arrived late Saturday night, he said.
Slaton was “charged with Sexual battery on a victim under 18 years old and Aggravated Child Abuse,” the release said. He is currently being held without bond in the Lee County Jail, the release said.
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