Nearly Four Years Later, Dallas Police Track Down a Suspected Child Rapist in Mexico
In late 2008 and early 2009, the Five Points area was put on edge by the news that two girls there, one 12, the other 14, had been bound with tape and sexually assaulted by a suspected serial rapist.
Detectives, after combing through police calls and incident reports, zeroed in on one describing an unknown Hispanic man entering unlocked apartments. That report listed a partial license plate number, which they subsequently matched to a Chevy Tahoe belonging to Jose Adan Rico.
Rico, it just so happened, had been arrested the previous day on a burglary charge. Investigators took a DNA swab from him, which came back on March 19, 2009 and confirmed their suspicions: it was a match for evidence collected from the two rapes.
Rico, 37, stayed in jail for the next five months but then, apparently due to miscommunication between the county and federal immigration officials (Rico was in the country illegally), a judge allowed Rico to bond out that August. He promptly fled to Mexico and disappeared.
It took more than three years, but one of the detectives working the case, Vidal Olivarez, was able to develop two informants and track down Rico in Mexico. Olivarez passed along Rico's home address, place of employment, and a description of his car to U.S. Marshals, who recently arrested Rico on a provisional warrant allowing him to be extradited to the U.S.
That's what happened Thursday when Rico, more than four years after allegedly committing the rapes, was flown back to Dallas accompanied by U.S. Marshals. Dallas PD announced the extradition yesterday afternoon in an unusually impassioned press release.
"The detective that Rico dodged for over 3 years will meet him on the tarmac," police said. "The girls, who are now in their late teens, will finally get the chance to confront the man who forced himself into their lives, took away their childhood and terrorized them so long ago."
Rico was booked into Lew Sterrett at about 9:30 last night on a pair of sexual assault charges and two burglary charges. This time, he's not being allowed a bond.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Observer's biggest stories.