By Eric Norwood Jr.
CMI staff writer
A child killer who escaped Clovis’ jail and eluded authorities more than four years before being recaptured in Mexico is back in U.S. custody.
Clovis District Attorney Matt Chandler said Edward Salas was placed in the Department of Corrections facility in Los Lunas on Saturday. U.S. marshals delivered him to Albuquerque, where the Curry County Sheriff’s Department “transported him straight to prison,” Chandler said.
Salas had been imprisoned in Mexico awaiting extradition since his October 2012 capture in Chihuahua City, Chihuahua.
Chandler said Salas would be held in Los Lunas until he’s assigned a more permanent prison facility to serve his life-plus-56-year sentence.
Salas escaped from Curry County Detention Center in Clovis in August 2008 with seven other inmates by creating a hole in a ceiling. He had been scheduled for transfer to a state facility the next day.
He was convicted in the 2005 slaying of 10-year-old Carlos Perez.
The boy was shot in the head while sleeping in his Clovis bedroom just one day before his 11th birthday. Authorities said Salas and three accomplices fired nine bullets into an apartment window.
“This … brings some closure not only to the community but more importantly to the victim’s families,” Chandler said.
Chandler said the extradition process in Mexico can take up to six years in some cases.
“It helped the extradition process that he didn’t have the (additional) charge of escape,” Chandler said. “Having pending charges holds up the process.”
The DA credited multiple officials for bringing Salas to justice.
“I believe that without the help of Gov. (Susana) Martinez, Gov. (Cesar) Duarte from Mexico, and (district attorney) agent Dan Aguilar, Edward Salas would still be on the loose,” Chandler said.
Duarte and Martinez also assisted in the capture of Noe Torres, also accused of killing Perez. Torres’ trial is set for June 23.
At the time of Salas’ arrest in Chihuahua City in 2012, Chihuahua Gov. Duarte said, “Governor Martinez had expressed her concerns about Salas and I told her Chihuahua won’t be the neighbor where justice doesn’t get served.”
Chandler had special thanks for Aguilar.
“Agent Aguilar has worked this case diligently since September 2005, and has literally followed up hundreds of leads in regards to Salas. Much of the credit goes to him.”