DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Faustino Valdez has been arrested by the FBI in Mexico. Officials stated that he was deported back to Dallas on Thursday evening. Valdez was wanted in connection with the death of his ex-girlfriend, 34-year-old Marisol Espinosa.
Valdez was taken into custody without incident in Francisco I. Madero, Durango, Mexico on Wednesday by agents with the Instituto Nacional de Migración, in close coordination with the FBI legal attaché office at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City. He was escorted from Mexico City to Dallas by an FBI special agent and an officer from INAMI, then transferred to the custody of the Dallas Police Department.
The murder suspect had nothing to say when he was booked into the Dallas County Jail at around 2:00 a.m. early Friday, after a debriefing at police headquarters. His bond has been set at $1 million.
Officials notified Espinosa’s family of the arrest late Thursday evening. “I want to thank everyone for their prayers,” said her mother, Rosemary Espinosa, during a family news conference later that night.
The arrest of Valdez marks a big step forward in the family’s fight for justice, they said. “There’s not a moment she will not be in our hearts,” added the victim’s aunt, Veronica Walls. “We are thankful we can confront him, the person who took our loved one away.”
CBS 11 News found Valdez’s family at their home. They said that they were unaware of the arrest and had nothing to say.
The mother of three was last seen leaving for work at a hair salon in NorthPark Center just after Christmas in 2015. Her family reported her as missing when she failed to show up that day. Three days after her disappearance, Espinosa’s SUV was located, abandoned in the parking lot of a Pleasant Grove apartment complex. The doors were locked and her purse was still inside.
Espinosa’s remains were discovered under a bridge in southeast Dallas, more than two months after she disappeared.
Valdez is the father of two of Espinosa’s children. He told police that he kissed Espinosa goodbye before she left for work that day. He was the last person to have reportedly seen Espinosa, and was initially very active in the search. He told CBS 11 News that it was strange for her to simply vanish. “Without her telling anybody anything… no, she wouldn’t do this,” he said. “It’s not like her.”
It was shortly after that interview that Valdez disappeared. He was indicted for murder in Dallas County in April 2016 and was believed to have fled to avoid arrest and prosecution. Investigators believed that he was in Mexico, which is where he was ultimately caught.
According to a Mexican newspaper, Valdez was found during an immigration raid at a factory, where he was working under a fake name.