By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes
A man who allegedly took an 11-year-old Keizer girl to Mexico in the spring of 2007 has been extradited to Oregon to face criminal prosecution from the Marion County District Attorney’s office.
Raul Xalamihua-Espindola, now 28, was escorted Tuesday by two special agents from the Portland office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) from Mexico City to Portland, where custody was transferred to members of the Keizer Police Department who were awaiting his arrival.
Xalamihua-Espindola was arrested on an outstanding felony warrant issued in April 2007 for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution and for one count of custodial interference in the first degree. Another warrant was issued in December 2007 for four counts of first degree rape.
All criminal charges stem from the investigation that began on April 6, 2007 when it was reported to the KPD the 11-year-old female victim left a note for her mother and father explaining that she had run away with her boyfriend, Xalamihua-Espindola, who was 19 at that time.
In early May of that year, it was confirmed the suspect and victim were in Mexico, but the case also took investigators to Alabama.
On Sept. 4, 2007 the victim was located and safely recovered in Mexico though the suspect evaded capture at that time. Two weeks later, a member of the KPD and an FBI employee flew to Mexico City and took protective custody of the victim at the United States Embassy. She was reunited with her parents at home in Keizer.
The Keizertimes ran two stories on the case at the time.
Within the past two years Xalamihua-Espindola was located and apprehended in Zongolica, Vera Cruz, Mexico by the Mexican Federales. He spent the last two years incarcerated in a Mexico prison litigating appeals regarding his extradition to the United States to stand trial for the criminal charges from this investigation.
According to the Marion County Correctional Facility inmate roster, Xalamihua-Espindola will appear in court on Dec. 29.
Look for more information on this case in the Dec. 25 issue of the Keizertimes.