UPDATE: Fugitive From Texas Wanted For Murder And Rape Arrested
Hector Ramirez-Lopez is in custody and faces felony charges for murder and sexual assault-rape.
Authorities confirm to In Pursuit with John Walsh 33-year-old Hector Hugo Ramirez-Lopez is in custody. The former fugitive was arrested in Mexico and extradited to Texas where he sits behind bars in Travis County. Ramirez-Lopez was featured in season three of the show and his capture comes within only weeks of the airing. He’s facing felony charges for murder and sexual assault-rape.
On April 28, 2012 investigators with the Austin Police Department said a vehicle drove off the road and smashed into a dumpster. By the time authorities arrived on the scene the person inside the car was injured. Austin Police Detective David Fugitt said the victim was hurt not because of the accident, but because he was stabbed to death and was later pronounced dead.
The victim was identified as 22-year-old Randal Wells.
During the course of the investigation, authorities learned Randal may have whistled at a female prompting someone to throw something at his vehicle. A confrontation between a group of Hispanic males and Randal ensued. It was during this confrontation that Randal was stabbed.
Detectives at the scene said they located a broken blade in the parking lot, and recovered the piece of evidence.
One of the males at the scene was picked up and questioned by the police, but refused to offer any information. Another witness at the scene was able to give a little more information and said the suspect left the crime scene in a silver vehicle. One key piece to the investigation the second witness was able to offer was not only a description of the vehicle - but he spoke about a distinct sticker on the back of the vehicle, a Freemasons decal on the back left window.
It was this specific sticker that reminded Det. Scanlon about a sexual assault that happened in Austin, TX a couple of weeks before. When the detective pulled up photos from the assault incident, the car was an exact match - right down to the sticker. It was this report that led them directly to the main suspect, Hector Hugo Ramirez-Lopez.
The victim in the assault case told detectives she was at a local bus stop when she met a guy. The victim was a little distracted by a phone call and asked the man if he wanted to come inside her residence and wait for a moment. It was there when she said he began to attack and rape her. The survivor told IN PURSUIT, "The whole time, I thought I was going to die."
Authorities said they were able to get the DNA of the suspect from a towel. The survivor also described the Dodge Stratus. Hector Hugo Ramirez-Lopez was later found, taken into custody and his DNA was retried. There wasn't enough evidence though to arrest him at the time and authorities believe only two weeks later, he allegedly killed Randal.
Austin detectives said once the dots were connected and arrest warrants were issued, Ramirez-Lopez's vehicle was later found abandoned. It's possible he skipped over the border into Mexico.
As for Randall, his father James Wells told IN PURSUIT, "Randall enjoyed helping people. It was his purpose in life, doing things to bring comfort to others. He was always giving. He was stabbed for no reason. I want the opportunity to ask Ramirez-Lopez why."
Investigators said in the past the suspect has gone by only his first two names: Hector Hugo, and not his last two names, Ramirez-Lopez. The suspect stands 5 feet 10 inches tall and at the time he disappeared he weighed 180 pounds and he has connections to Mexico. Ramirez-Lopez is from Coahuila. It's possible, according to US Marshals, he is back with his family somewhere in that area.
If you know where Ramirez-Lopez is hiding out, please call or text: 833-378-7783 (3-PURSUE).
HEIGHT: 5 feet 10 inches tall
WEIGHT: 180 pounds
RACE/SEX: Hispanic male
DOB: August 12, 1988
DATE OF CRIME: April 13, 2012 (rape) - April 28, 2012 (murder)
CONNECTIONS TO: Mexico, specific ties to Coahuila, where he is from.
Read more: Statesman