CHICAGO – The nationwide hunt for a man accused of killing his new bride intensified Thursday, as the FBI issued an unlawful flight warrant for Arnoldo Jimenez.
Police already had a first-degree murder warrant for Jimenez, who married Estrella Carrera on Friday at Chicago's City Hall and allegedly stabbed her to death just hours later. Carrera's body, still clad in the silver sequined cocktail dress she wore to celebrate their wedding, was found in her bathtub.
The new "unlawful flight to avoid prosecution" warrant gives the FBI more power to follow tips on Jimenez's whereabouts, said Capt. Joseph Ford of the Burbank Police Department, located in suburban Chicago.
Police have asked authorities in Texas and U.S. border officials to join the hunt for Jimenez, who may have ties to Texas. Authorities would not confirm whether he has left the country.
Police and FBI officials were poring over more than 200 tips, Ford said.
"We are following every lead no matter where it takes us," Ford said. "We will not stop looking, and this will not go away."
The sheriff in Hidalgo County, Texas, which is on the Mexican border, said a "be on the lookout" advisory indicates Jimenez may he headed for Mexico. Federal border officials from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection also say they have the advisory and Jimenez's photo.
Authorities began looking for Jimenez soon after Carrera's family reported that she failed to pick up her two children Saturday as she had arranged. The family had been unable to reach Carrera or Jimenez, so they asked police to check on her well-being at her apartment in the suburb of Burbank.
Police found Carrera's body Sunday afternoon in the bathtub, still clothed in the dress she also may have worn at her wedding ceremony.
That day, the bride's family received a haunting phone call from a relative of her new husband. Jimenez's sister told them he had called her and tearfully said he had left his bride bleeding after a "bad fight," Carrera's sister told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
Jimenez was charged with first-degree murder, leaving the bride's family searching for answers as to what befell the 26-year-old mother of two in the hours after she hastily married her on-and-off boyfriend.
Most of Carrera's family disapproved of her relationship with Jimenez, even though he was the father of her 2-year-old son.
Jimenez had hit and bruised Carrera in the past, an older sister, Jazmin Carrera, told the AP. Police also said family members reported incidents of violence while the couple was dating.
Jazmin Carrera described 6-foot, 220-pound Jimenez as "very possessive" and jealous. She said she doesn't understand why her sister married the 30-year-old Jimenez in what seemed like a rushed ceremony — or why she married him at all.
"That's the question everyone's asking themselves," Jazmin Carrera said.
She received a text message from her sister Friday, inviting her to join them and their friends at a Mexican restaurant and a nightclub to celebrate the nuptials. She didn't join the festivities.
"It was just all of a sudden," Jazmin Carrera said. "She didn't give us enough notice."
On Sunday, relatives heard from a sister of Jimenez that he had called that day, Jazmin Carrera told the AP.
"She said that he was crying and he was really nervous," she said. "He said they had a really bad fight and he had left her bleeding."
Jimenez hung up on his sister and wouldn't pick up when she called him back, Carrera said.
Police in Burbank said they are aware of the account and are looking into it.
Police are pleading with Jimenez to turn himself in "for the sake of his family and especially his children," Ford said. "I am sure they are very concerned for his well-being."
Ford said Jimenez was previously arrested for domestic violence in another city in a case that did not involve Carrera. Police don't know what Jimenez does for a living, although he was last known to be driving a black 2006 Maserati, an expensive car.
"We do not believe Jimenez is a danger to others, but we certainly do not know his mind frame at the present time," Ford told the AP.
Since the killing likely took place mere hours after the couple went to Carrera's apartment, the suspect had a day to flee the metropolitan area or even the state, Ford said.
The victim's sister said she is taking things "a day at a time."
"The emotions are just on and off," Jazmin Carrera said. "It's unbelievable one minute, and then it hits you and becomes real."
AP writer Christopher Sherman contributed to this report from McAllen, Texas.