A Los Angeles murder suspect on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted Fugitives list may have been staying in Tijuana for weeks before he nervously tried to slip back into the U.S. with a fake ID, federal authorities said Tuesday.
Philip Patrick Policarpio, accused of gunning down his pregnant girlfriend in April, aroused suspicion when he tried to cross at the San Diego port of entry Sunday evening with a female companion whom he'd met at a "gentlemen's club" in Tijuana, said Deirdre Fike, the FBI Assistant Director in Charge.
He was vague and inconsistent during an inspection with U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents, and grew anxious when asked to provide fingerprints, said Sidney Aki, CBP's port director at San Ysidro.
Local news from across Southern California
Policarpio, 39, was taken into custody after a background check revealed there was a warrant out for his arrest.
"Initially we did not know who we had in our custody," Aki said. "Based on some indicators such as the evasiveness, vague information and the fact that the ID that he had, the photo didn't match up with him - it looked similar, but it wasn't him. That led us to more questions and ultimately the fingerprint query."
Aki said agents screen 133,000 people at the border every day.
According to Fike, Policarpio said during an interview he was lost while trying to reach a location in Mexico and didn't intend on returning to the U.S.
He was not armed.
The FBI says Policarpio had been on the run since killing his girlfriend, Lauren Olguin, on April 12. The two had gotten into an argument at a friend's home in the Rampart area that day. Policarpio allegedly got angry, beat Olguin and shot her in the forehead, killing her and her unborn baby.
He was on parole for a 2001 conviction for assault with a firearm and other violations.
Policarpio will next appear in court July 13.
Olguin mother's, Jerilyn Olguin, said she was relieved to find out her daughter's suspected killer was in custody.
"My daughter's not coming back but it does feel like a weight's lifted," she said, "like there is some closure."