A California woman, wanted by authorities in connection with a deadly shooting in April, was found in Mexico on Tuesday with her 16-year-old daughter, and the pair have been deported to the United States, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said.
Marcela Mercado, 40, and Alora Benitez, her daughter – whose disappearance in April triggered an Amber Alert -- were arrested by authorities in Chihuahua, Mexico, and deported for entering the country illegally, the Sheriff’s Department said Wednesday.
Mexican authorities handed the two to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents in El Paso, Texas, KTLA reported. El Paso authorities arrested Mercado in accordance with a warrant from Los Angeles County, the station said.
Mercado remains in custody until her extradition to California. Her daughter is in FBI custody until she can be reunited with other relatives, the Sheriff’s Department said.
Mercado and her ex-husband, Roman Cerratos, 39, are suspects in the fatal shooting of Jeffrey Appel, 32, a Las Vegas man, authorities said. On April 16, Appel was found with gunshot wounds in a car in Carson, 13 miles south of downtown Los Angeles.
Cerratos was arrested in Mexico on June 13 and has been charged with kidnapping and murder, KTLA reported. He is in an L.A. jail on $3 million bail, according to inmate records cited by the station.
Benitez was last seen with her mother on April 17 in Torrance, Calif. Her disappearance prompted an Amber Alert by the California Highway Patrol. Authorities found the BMW associated with the alert in San Ysidro on April 19, KTLA reported.