Captured! Luis Frias: Wanted For Stabbing Janett Reyna 41 Times In Front Of Their 3 Children
Monique Hudson tells In Pursuit, “It was a really strong, strong smell [of blood] … there was blood everywhere. I never really smelled blood, that's a smell you can't mistake or forget.”
UPDATE (FEBRUARY 7, 2019): LUIS FRIAS CAPTURED!
On February 6, 2019, the manhunt for a Top 15 Most Wanted fugitive, Luis Frias, came to a close. A tip generated from In Pursuit with John Walsh led the U.S. Marshals right to Frias, who was hiding out in Jalisco, Mexico. A tipster contacted authorities after watching the program in Mexico.
Frias, who was wanted for allegedly stabbing his ex-wife, Janett Reyna, 41 times in front of their children, went on the run in 2013.
U.S. Marshals Service Acting Deputy Director David Anderson said, “We especially thank John Walsh and his team for their commitment to law enforcement and for featuring Frias on his show.”
When Frias arrived back in the United States, investigators said they used the actual set of handcuffs on him that were issued to Janett when she was an officer with the Blackwell Police Department in Oklahoma.
U.S. Marshal Johnny Lee Kuhlman of the Western District of Oklahoma said, “In so many ways, those handcuffs represented poetic justice not only for the victim, but for her children, her brothers and sisters in blue, and her community.”
According to the U.S. Marshals, Frias is currently in Texas awaiting formal extradition back to Oklahoma.
ORIGINAL STORY (JANUARY 14, 2019):
Luis Frias is on the U.S. Marshals Top 15 Most Wanted list. He's one of the most dangerous fugitives in America.
From the moment Janett Reyna laid eyes on Luis Frias, her own mother knew she was headed in the wrong direction with her love life. Some thought Janett was attracted to Frias because he was the spitting image of her last boyfriend. Reyna’s mother had a gut instinct about Frias, some would say even a genuine fear, and those concerns for her daughter’s safety were spot on.
But not even Reyna’s mother could stop the instant connection between Reyna and Frias. The pair began talking and eventually they hit it off, becoming boyfriend and girlfriend. The relationship blossomed and grew over time, so much so that they shared not only a home but eventually three children together. Although the couple never officially walked down the aisle, they were linked long enough over the years to legally become common-law husband and wife.
As the relationship progressed, many say so did Frias' possession over Reyna. Her sister-in-law told In Pursuit With John Walsh, “You could see the jealous side of him. There were a few times that we witnessed an argument.” Salvador Casique, Jr., Reyna’s brother, echoed those same sentiments: “He was a real jealous person. I remember a guy just looking at my sister. He ended up getting into a confrontation."
Behind the scenes, according to family and friends, Reyna was suffering the way a victim does in an abusive relationship – in silence. Casique added that the pair would, “get along, then they would fight. They had their ups and downs. It started getting physical. I didn't like to see her getting abused; I just wanted the best for my sister."
In 2007, Reyna was ready for a change and she wasn’t going to let anyone stop her – not even Frias. She had a desire to help and protect others as a police officer, so she applied for a job in her community with the Blackwell Police Department. In order to get hired, the department conducted an intense background check on her history.
Chief Dewayne Wood of the Blackwell Police department told In Pursuit, "Janett's family life was a little bit of a concern when we went through her background. We had dealt with Luis several times ... minor offenses. Luis’ mother ... she actually slashed another lady's face, and so we knew there was a chance she could be violent."
Wood said despite the lingering family troubles, the police department moved forward and began interviewing Reyna’s friends and family. This process included going to the home she shared with Frias for an informal interview. From what Chief Wood remembers, Frias seemed excited and appeared to be supportive of Reyna.
Although Reyna excelled in her position in law enforcement and, according to her brother, it was one of her greatest accomplishments, behind the scenes, Frias was refusing to make anything easy for his beloved partner to succeed.
According to Reyna’s family, Frias was constantly complaining to the police chief about Reyna. He was working to break her down as she was trying to build herself up. He became so much of a problem to the police department that Reyna’s only recourse was to resign.
In 2010, things at home became so bad that instead of showing up to scenes helping other people, Reyna was now the one on the other side needing help. She had to reach out to the police to help with her own domestic-violence episodes involving Frias. At one point, she even filed a protective order against him.
But as many victims of domestic violence do, Reyna was sucked back into the vicious cycle and walked back into Frias’ life. She eventually dropped the protective order against him because she wanted the father of her children involved in their lives.
SUFFERING IN SILENCE
Although Reyna wasn’t a police officer anymore, she still had a true passion and desire to help others. She eventually found work as the Director of the Domestic Violence program on the Ponca Tribe reservation in Oklahoma. Monique Hudson said Reyna was a perfect fit for this position and she was, "Really professional and kind and was easy to open up to." Reyna was helping people escape their abusive situations, while ironically and simultaneously suffering in silence by the hands of her own alleged abuser.
For a long time, no one at her new job had any idea the problems Reyna was facing at home.
In August 2013, Reyna finally had enough and made her move. She filed for another order of protection and this time she left Frias for good.
Reyna’s family was supportive and pitched in to get her set up in a new place with her children. Monique Hudson, Reyna’s work friend, remembers how this decision enraged Frias. He lost control, was making threats, and trying to figure out where Reyna and the kids were living.
Although things did not seem reparable between Frias and Reyna, when Frias’ mother, Atocha Beltran, reached out to Reyna to see the grandchildren, she didn’t refuse the request, even though she just filed the order of protection two days before. Hudson was helping Reyna facilitate this visit — something she had done plenty of times before without any issues. But this time, When Reyna walked up the stairs, Hudson said, “I heard her scream.”
She then saw Frias force Reyna into the apartment. Hudson was in a panic, banging on doors, trying to figure out who could help her. “I could hear her screaming my name, and I started screaming for anyone to help,” she said.
Hudson called 911 and tried to figure out the address to give dispatch. She wasn’t the only person to call for help — Reyna’s seven-year-old daughter also frantically dialed police, but police say her grandmother grabbed the phone away, delaying help.
Investigators say Frias stabbed Reyna in her body and on her face, as her three children watched in horror. Reportedly, Beltan assisted Frias again by cleaning off the bloody knife, and eventually attempting to take credit for the attack.
Just before Hudson ran back upstairs, she saw Luis running out of the apartment. Hudson wasn't sure what she was walking into, but she bravely made her way in.
Hudson tells In Pursuit, "It was a really strong, strong smell [of blood] … there was blood everywhere. I never really smelled blood, that's a smell you can't mistake or forget."
Reyna was face-down on the ground, covered in blood, and her body was right by the door. She had been stabbed an astonishing 41 times. As for the children, Hudson remembers that one of them told her, “’I need to go home and change.’ It was because she peed on herself because she seen her daddy hit her mommy with a knife."
Chief Wood and his investigative team did what they could to locate Frias as quickly as possible. They learned he had family in Enid, Oklahoma, and Frias called his friend Neshia Niemeyer to help him escape the area.
Neimeyer was arrested and charged as an accessory. Authorities believe Frias made his way to Wichita, Kansas, and then got a bus to Juarez, Mexico.
Supervisory Deputy US Marshal Callen Stephens said, "That bus was headed to the west Texas area, at some point he got off the bus, and we don't know where he went from there."
Beltran was convicted for her role and is serving 20 years in the Oklahoma state penitentiary for accessory to murder. Frias is facing a charge of first-degree murder and unlawful flight to avoid prosecution and could be anywhere in the United States or Mexico. He could be using the alias “Louis Beltran.”
Reyna’s brother Salvador Casique is doing what he can to keep his sister's memory alive. “She didn't deserve to die, and she went through a lot of pain ... and the kids were traumatized,” he said. “Eventually you have to pay for what you've done in this life, and there's no hiding from that."
- Age: 34
- Hair: Brown
- Eyes: Brown
- Sex: Male
- Height: 5 feet 11 inches
- Weight: 200 pounds
- Tattoo going around left arm
- Discoloration of hands due to vitiligo
- Luis is quiet at first when you meet him, but then becomes possessive
- At first seems like a great person, but then the explosive side shows itself
- Clear facial complexion
- Ear pierced, left ear
- Has ties to Kansas, but authorities believe he could be living near the Texas or Arizona border
There is a reward of up to $25,000 offered by the U.S. Marshals for information leading to the arrest of Luis Frias.
For more on this case, watch the “Tragic Entanglement” episode of In Pursuit With John Walsh on Wednesday, January 16 at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery! Or catch up on ID GO.