DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The alleged mastermind behind Uptown dentist Kendra Hatcher’s murder, Brenda Delgado, was captured in Mexico on Friday night, ending months of grief for Hatcher’s family.
Hatcher’s family released the following statement to CBS 11 on Saturday evening expressing her gratitude to authorities in Mexico:
“Thank you to Mexico for helping a girl who simply loved your country and community. We extend our sincerest gratitude to those who assisted in the arrest.
She majored in Spanish and served in Spain, Ecuador, Texas, and the Cuban community in Florida.
Relaxing and rejuvenating in your country was her favorite pastime because she truly felt at home there.
Kendra was a dual-citizen at heart and chose to use her God-given abilities and resources to do nothing but love and inspire people across the globe, with emphasis on the Spanish communities.”
Thank you again for helping when she needed you. What an amazing way to honor her legacy of service and love. We are grateful.”
Hatcher’s co-workers at Smile Zone of Irving, where Hatcher worked as a pediatric dentist, said they were “thrilled” to learn of Delgado’s capture.
“You don’t have to worry anymore if they are going to catch her,” said Ariwl Ramirez, who worked with Hatcher for more than three years. “She’s caught. She’s behind bars.”
Bringing Delgado back to the United States will not be a quick process.
Extradition could take a year or even longer, according to criminal defense attorney and extradition expert Fernando Benitez.
Benitez, who handled “affluenza teen” Ethan Couch’s deportation, said despite the lengthy extradition process, he said Mexico will eventually turn Delgado over the the U.S.
“It’s just a formality,” Benitez said. “As far as I can remember, there has not been a single case of extradition request from the U.S. that has ever been denied from Mexico.”
Mexican authorities searched areas where Delgado has friends and family in the states of San Luis Potosí, Nuevo León and Mexico City. The Attorney General’s Office said Friday she was detained in a house in the city of Torreón, in northern Coahuila state. Delgado was then taken to the Santa Marta Acatitla prison in Mexico City pending extradition proceedings. Part of that extradition agreement between the United States and Mexico will take the death penalty off the table for Delgado. Dallas County District Attorney Susan Hawk has said Delgado will however, face life in prison.
Brian New and Ken Molestina contributed to this report.