U.S. Marshals Top 15 Most Wanted Jose Fernando Bustos-Diaz Fled After Prison Escape

Fugitive Jose Fernando Bustos-Diaz stands 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighed 180 pounds at the time he fled. He is a convicted Texas killer who authorities said broke out of prison after being sentenced to 35 years behind bars. If you have any information on his whereabouts, please submit your tips to InPursuitTips.com or text 1-833-378-7783 (3-PURSUE).

Fugitive Jose Fernando Bustos-Diaz stands 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs 180 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes.

Fugitive Jose Fernando Bustos-Diaz is a convicted Texas killer who authorities said broke out of prison after being sentenced to 35 years behind bars.

Photo by: FBI

FBI

By: Michelle Sigona

In January 2005, authorities say 50-year-old Deborah Kay was found dead in a Houston, Texas horse stall. Deborah, a lover of horses and ranches, spent a tremendous amount of time outdoors. She was an owner of the Kendalwood Wood Stables in Harris County, Texas.

Tara Kay, Deborah’s stepdaughter told IN PURSUIT, “She boarded horses there, she gave lessons, she was a good ole cowgirl. Deborah had a love for any animal, she was like an animal whisperer.” Deborah raised Tara since the time she was 3-years-old.

The investigation on the property and questioning of those who knew Deborah, soon turned to a ranch hand, 16-year-old worker named Jose Fernando Bustos-Diaz. Authorities tell IN PURSUIT, Bustos-Diaz admitted to killing Deborah because he had a hangover and she would not let him take the day off. There was a fight, according to authorities, and that’s when she was killed. There was not a trial and Bustos-Diaz was convicted.

Bustos-Diaz was sentenced to 35 years behind bars.

In 2010, investigators were putting together pieces to another murder in the area, when they realized there may be an alleged link between the two cases. There was another local Houston woman who spent a tremendous amount of time with her horse at a ranch. As authorities dug more deeply into the case from 2004, they realized there was possibly one common tie: Jose Bustos-Diaz.

In May 2014, according to authorities, Nancy went out to her stable to be with her horse when something horrific occurred. When the phone rang and her husband Wayne Wilner answered, he said the person on the other end from the sheriff’s office said there was an accident and his wife may have been kicked by her animal and she did not make it.

“I couldn’t speak, I could only cry,” Wilner said. “It made no sense,” he added.

It wasn’t until Nancy was taken to a local funeral home when the mortician realized Nancy’s death may not have been associated with a kick, authorities said. The mortician contacted local police and they soon found out Nancy was stabbed multiple times.

First Assistant Prosecutor of Waller County, Warren Diepraam,"We basically have two females who had worked on horse ranches who had no known enemies, no known problems." Nancy was slashed and stabbed. Bustos-Diaz has not been charged in her case.

In January 2021, according to the U.S. Marshals, Bustos-Diaz landed on their elite top 15 Most Wanted list. In a press release, U.S. Marshal Service Director Donald Washington said, "We added Bustos-Diaz to our 15 Most Wanted fugitive list because locating and apprehending this violent escapee is a top priority, and we will use every available resource to bring him to justice."

Tara said, "It makes me really angry that he betrayed the woman that helped him. It makes me angry he could just take her kindness like she didn't matter to anyone. She did."

Tara added through tears, “I was the only living family. When Deborah passed, I pretty much shut down. But there’s so many times I needed advice and guidance and she’s not there.”

Wilner said this about his wife, “Nancy’s death is the hardest thing I have ever gone through. Nancy had her five year plans, she had ambitions. She had already accomplished as much as three people do in her lifetime and it’s upsetting to think what accomplishments were stolen from her.”

Bustos-Diaz is a Mexican-National. Although Octavio Lopez, the other prisoner who investigators said escaped with Bustos-Diaz, was captured, Bustos-Diaz remains on the run.

The fugitive stands 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs 180 pounds. He has a number of distinctive tattoos including a heart on the outside of his left hand. He has black hair and brown eyes. If you have any information on his whereabouts, please submit your tips to InPursuitTips.com or text 1-833-378-7783 (3-PURSUE).

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