Mexican authorities say they have captured a former police official implicated in the disappearance of 43 teachers' college students last year.

A government statement says Francisco Salgado Valladares had been hiding in the homes of relatives in the states of Guerrero and Morelos. It says investigators learned the family was getting together in the city of Cuernavaca and detained him in a vehicle that was approaching the gathering.

Thursday's statement says Salgado Valladares is suspected of kidnapping and organized crime.

As deputy chief for operations in the city of Iguala, Salgado Valladares allegedly ordered police to hand 13 of the missing students over to a drug gang in September.

The students remain missing. Authorities say they were massacred by the gang, although relatives continue to doubt the official account.