A man accused of killing his girlfriend, Utah radio host Gabriela Sifuentes Castilla, in 2021 was extradited back to the United States from Mexico over the weekend.
The suspect, 36-year-old Manuel Omar Burciaga-Perea, arrived in Utah on Friday night and was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail, the Taylorsville City Police Department confirmed. The department shared a video to its Twitter page that showed authorities escorting Burciaga-Perea, who was handcuffed and wearing a prison uniform, into a police vehicle. He is charged with aggravated murder, aggravated burglary, aggravated assault and domestic violence in the presence of a child for his alleged role in the killing of Castilla in October 2021.
Castilla, a local Spanish radio host known as Gaby Ramos on air, was murdered at her sister's home in Taylorsville near Salt Lake City. She was 38 years old at the time. Burciaga-Perea was arrested in connection with her killing on Thanksgiving Day last November, in Chihuahua, Mexico, according to Taylorsville police. He had been detained at a holding facility in Mexico prior to the extradition.
"We are very, very pleased this is moving forward," said Taylorsville Police Chief Brady Cottam. "This has been a very difficult case in the fact that obviously it was a violent criminal act of murder, but very difficult to process in the fact that we are dealing with a suspect who fled to Mexico right away, and that process takes quite a bit of time."
Burciaga-Perea fled to Chihuahua, his hometown, after Castilla's death, CBS affiliate KUTV reported. Her sister, Rocio Sifuentes, told the news station that Castilla and Burciaga-Perea were previously in a relationship, alleging he was abusive. Sifuentes said she witnessed the shooting that led to Castilla's death and hopes her sister's story will help others in domestic violence situations, according to KUTV.
"It's not only justice for my sister; its justice for my niece, justice for all woman that suffer domestic violence," Sifuentes said after Burciaga-Perea's extradition.
"I have a lot of emotions, I have a lot of feelings," she told KUTV. "Finally, I can think about justice is going to be served, finally, this is just the beginning. I was there when he shot her, I saw him."
Castilla's family initially spoke out about her case after the killing in 2021. They said in the description of a GoFundMe campaign, launched at the time to raise money for her daughter and her parents, that she came from Mexico to the U.S. "to make life for her and her daughter amazing."
"She was doing everything right by getting out of a very toxic relationship when this selfish coward made the decision that her life was his to take," the description read.
In her comments to KUTV, Sifuentes described her sister as a "super smart," "super happy," educated woman who had studied psychology and "liked to help other people."
"I miss her so much," Sifuentes said.
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