Published February 18, 2008
EDITORIAL NOTE: Jorge Lopez-Orozco was captured on October 7, 2009.
Jorge Lopez-Orozco, an illegal immigrant living with his wife and children in Idaho, called up his ex-girlfriend in the summer of 2002 and pleaded with her to get back with him.
But Rebecca Ramirez was hiding from him with her two young children at her father's home in Nyssa, Oregon, nearly 100 miles away.
She wasn't sure she wanted to patch things up with Lopez-Orozco, who earned a living distributing methamphetamines and helping his family with their farming business in the town of Mountain Home.
She had broken up with him, investigators say, because Ramirez didn't want to date a married man.
But Lopez-Orozco persuaded Ramirez to meet with him, and he picked her up -- along with her sons -- with promises that they would get married or take off together.
"Somewhere in between all that, she decided she didn't want to do that, and that's where everything went south," said Cpt. Mike Barclay of the Elmore County, Idaho, Sheriff's Department.
A few weeks later, on August 11, some Air Force members were driving around a remote area about 23 miles outside of Elmore County. They came upon a burned-out car, and they found human remains inside.
The charred remains were so badly decomposed, it took DNA testing for authorities to determine that they were the bodies of Ramirez and her sons, Miguel and Ricardo. The three had been shot before the car was set on fire.
Investigators recovered the car's license plate and tracked down its owner. He had sold the car, and he had a photocopy of the buyer's driver's license. The buyer was Lopez-Orozco, who had failed to change the license plate and registration.
Police say Lopez-Orozco killed Ramirez and her two sons in a crime of passion. Ramirez had five other children, who were taken in by an ex-husband after she was killed.
“I believe in my mind that he wasn’t going to break off his marriage with his wife,” Barclay said. “He wasn’t going to break it off with his wife, but Rebecca was ready to move on. The kids were just a casualty of it.”
"He's ruthless and dangerous," said FBI agent Scott Mace. "He was willing to kill two small, innocent children that had nothing to do with anything."
After the grisly crime, police say, Lopez-Orozco enlisted the help of his brother and sister-in-law, who helped him escape to Mexico. Simon Lopez-Orozco and Maria Garcia are wanted for accessory to first-degree murder.
"He's smart enough that he realized what kind of trouble he was in and that he needed to flee," Mace said.
Lopez-Orozco is 5-foot-7, 175-pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. He was born in Mexico on April 22, 1976.
Other names Lopez-Orozco might be using include Raul Solario, Raul Solorio, Jorge Orozco-Lopez, Jorge Alberto Orozco-Lopez and "Pepe."
Authorities later discovered his identity was linked to a prior arrest where he used a fake name. He was arrested during a traffic stop by Elmore County deputies on failure to purchase a driver's license.
Lopez-Orozco is wanted for murder and for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.
The FBI is offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.