Suspect in Student Slaying Arrested in Mexico

Israel Mireles was wanted in connection with model Emily Sander's death.

ByDavid Schoetz
February 26, 2009, 4:32 PM

Dec. 19, 2007— -- The suspect wanted in the brutal death of Kansas college student turned aspiring porn star Emily Sander was arrested this morning in Mexico, the United States Marshals Service confirmed to ABC News.

"He's in custody," U.S. Deputy Marshal Logan Kline said. "He was arrested in Mexico this morning."

Mireles, 24, had been missing since Nov. 23, the last day that Emily Sander, 18, was seen alive. He was wanted on a homicide warrant in connection with her death.

He will be charged with capital murder, Butler County, Kan., prosecutor Jan Satterfield said at an afternoon press conference in El Dorado, and he could face life in prison. Mireles cannot face the death penalty, according to Satterfield, because of an "international treaty" with Mexico that prevents suspects who are extradited from the country from facing execution.

Butler County prosecutors, working with the Department of Justice and Mexican officials, have 60 days to extradite Mireles, Satterfield said. She praised Mexican authorities for their help in the case as the paperwork needed to make the arrest was obtained. "They have been following leads, keeping an eye on him and waiting on the issuance of the Mexican warrant," she said.

Eyewitnesses originally told police that they saw Sander leaving an El Dorado bar with Mireles the night of Nov. 23. The next day, police received a call about an apparent altercation that had happened inside a nearby motel where Mireles had been living. Authorities reached out to the public, releasing a photograph of the pair, along with a bedspread that was missing from the motel's bloody crime scene.

As the search intensified for the pair, Sander's double life as an adult model, performing under the stage name Zoey Zane, came to light.

Authorities discovered a rental car used by Mireles hundreds of miles away in Vernon, Texas, where he reportedly had relatives, and speculated that he may try to cross the border into Mexico.

Mireles was believed to be traveling with his pregnant, 16-year-old girlfriend, Victoria Martens, whose family has since come out to express concern for the teen's whereabouts.

Kline said at the press conference that Martens "is in good health and was found unharmed." Satterfield said that she had not spoken to Martens but hoped the teen, now eight months pregnant, would return to the United States."

"We just are hopeful she wants to return home and she'll return to Kansas to her mother," Satterfield said.

Authorities in Kansas this month obtained an additional arrest warrant for Mireles on felony underage sex charges tied to his relationship with Martens.

Sander's body was found six days after she disappeared, about 50 miles from El Dorado. Police later identified the body conclusively, using dental records. Lying near her body was the bedspread that matched the one that was missing from Mireles' motel room.

Kline said that Mireles was arrested by Mexican authorities in the town of Melchor Muzquiz this morning. He will be held there until his is extradited.

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