SANTA FE — Gov. Susana Martinez and District Attorney Matt Chandler announced that fugitive child killer Edward Salas has been extradited to New Mexico where he will spend life in prison, plus 56 years, for the murder of 10-year-old Carlos Perez in 2005.
After fleeing to Mexico more than five years ago, Salas was recently brought to New Mexico by U.S. Marshals and placed in the custody of the New Mexico Corrections Department.
“Eight years ago, Carlos Perez lay sleeping in his bed when he was shot and killed. Nothing will ever bring back Carlos, but his family can take comfort in knowing that one more person responsible for their son’s death is now in prison, in New Mexico,” Martinez said. “I am grateful to our local and federal law enforcement partners, and to Chihuahua Gov. Cesar Duarte and District Attorney Matt Chandler for their efforts to bring Salas back to New Mexico.”
In October 2012, Salas was arrested in Ciudad Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Mexico, where he had been on the run since August 2008 after escaping from a detention center in Clovis. He had been serving a life sentence for his role in killing Perez. During his time as a fugitive in Mexico, Salas is believed to have been a hit-man for Los Zetas Cartel.
“Capturing Salas and bringing him back to New Mexico has been a top priority for law enforcement, the family of Carlos, and the community of Clovis,” Chandler said. “Without the help of Gov. Martinez, Gov. Duarte, the U.S. Marshals and Ninth Judicial District Attorney’s Agent Dan Aguilar, this convicted child killer would still be on the loose. Their unwavering commitment to seeing his capture and extradition has given our community peace.”
Since Perez’ murder, Martinez has worked closely with Duarte and Chandler to ensure the capture and extradition of Salas, who was named a Top 15 Most Wanted Fugitive by the U.S. Marshals. At the time of his arrest in 2012, Duarte said, “Gov.ernor Martinez had expressed her concerns about Salas and I told her Chihuahua won’t be the neighbor where justice doesn’t get served.”
After Salas was arrested in Mexico, he challenged extradition, kicking off a lengthy process that often takes as many as six years. But through the work of Chandler and Mexican authorities, the process took a little more than one year.
“Throughout this challenging time, District Attorney Chandler never gave up his fight to bring Salas to justice,” Martinez said. “Because of his determination, Salas is behind bars where he belongs.”
In 2012, Mexican authorities also arrested Noe Torres, after Martinez asked Duarte for his help in capturing him. Six days after their conversation, Torres was arrested and later extradited to New Mexico where he is being held in custody pending trial. Torres had also been charged in the murder of Perez, but fled to Mexico before he could be prosecuted.