crimesider

Texas wife faces charges in husband's hot-grease death after 40 years on the run

Mary Ann Rivera
WGCL

(CBS/AP) HOUSTON, Texas - After over 40 years of eluding Texas authorities, 76-year-old Mary Ann Rivera is finally facing a murder charge for allegedly dousing her husband in hot grease.

Rivera was returned to Houston earlier this week, and is scheduled to appear in court on Friday for the charge of murder by omission.

She is accused of killing her husband Cruz Rivera, in October 1970, and after posting a $10,000 bail, she fled to Lake Park, Georgia with her three children. Police say she started a new life there raising her children, got a job as a waitress, and made many new friends.

Cold case detectives tracked her down in Georgia, where she had remained a fugitive for more than four decades. Spokeswoman for the Harris County District Attorney's Office, Donna Hawkins, would not comment on a suspected motive. Authorities said that they were never called to Rivera's home in Texas for allegations of domestic violence.

Now, Rivera is suffering from health problems, reports the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Though many of her Georgia friends question the arrest after all of this time, especially with her old age and poor health, Hawkins refused to speak on those issues.

"The defendant was charged with committing a rather brutal murder of her husband. Although she was able to elude authorities for over 40 years, she ultimately must face judgment in a court of law for the murder of her husband," she said.