Carlsbad — It took DNA from a 2007 Los Angeles narcotics bust to solve a 2001 rape and murder case, but the suspect now is in a Vista jail, authorities said this week.
Mexican national Alejandro Avaolos Fernandez was extradited to the United States from Mexico on March 2 and arrested in the 2001 rape and murder of Gladys Conrad, 84, at her Carlsbad-by-the-Sea residence, said Lynn Diamond, public information officer for the Carlsbad Police Department.
Conrad, a retired psychiatrist, was found dead at her house by a neighbor on Sept. 1, 2001, Diamond said.
Fernandez was arrested at Mexico City on Jan. 23, 2009, but the extradition process took more than a year, according to Diamond. He was escorted by U.S. marshals to San Diego, she said.
Fernandez was booked into Vista jail on suspicion of murder, rape, sodomy, torture and assault and held without bail, authorities said.
“We are satisfied that the person responsible for this heinous crime is finally being brought to justice, especially for the family and the community’s sake,” said Carlsbad Investigations Lt. Kelly Cain. “This arrest is a great example of how successful investigations can be with regional cooperation.”
Investigators in 2004 were able to match DNA from the Conrad case to that of an unsolved attempted rape case in the Los Angeles area. Fernandez was identified as a suspect in both cases when he was arrested on a narcotic charge in Los Angeles in 2007, investigators said.
— Dan Weisman