Guatemala Deports US Fugitive Wanted In California Killing

A U.S. fugitive wanted by the FBI for the Valentine's Day 2008 killing of a woman in Southern California was deported from Guatemala on Tuesday, a day after he was captured in the Central American nation.

Guatemalan police spokesman Jorge Aguilar said 38-year-old Edward Lee LeBlanc was taken to Guatemala City's international airport for expulsion on a commercial flight and handed over to FBI custody.

The FBI also confirmed his deportation and said the plane had left Guatemala City with an expected arrival in the United States later in the day.

LeBlanc, whose name is also given as Leblanc in various FBI documents, is charged with murder in Riverside County, California.

According to the bureau's website, U.S. authorities allege he stabbed Kristin Miner multiple times in the stomach and torso after they argued in the Palm Springs area. He allegedly then drove her body into the desert and burned and buried it in a shallow grave. The body was found about six months later.

Guatemalan police said LeBlanc entered the country a little over six months ago and was living there illegally, doing security work for farms.

He was arrested Monday in the town of Cuyotenango, about 100 miles (170 kilometers) west of Guatemala City.

Laura Eimiller, a spokeswoman for the FBI's Los Angeles Field Office, said the detention came after the FBI received a tip about his whereabouts.

She said via email that the Riverside County Sheriff's Department and District Attorney's Office have the murder case.

An FBI statement said LeBlanc was to arrive in Miami and was expected to be booked there on the murder charge. It added that the U.S. government was expected to dismiss a federal warrant against him for alleged unlawful flight to avoid prosecution and he would be extradited to California for prosecution for murder.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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