Suspect in 1998 Chicago sex assaults, murder arrested in Mexico

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Fidel Urbina | FBI

A man on the FBI’s Top 10 Most Wanted list for the 1998 kidnapping, beating and sexual assault of one woman, and the sexual assault and murder of another in Chicago, was arrested Thursday in Mexico.

Fidel Urbina, 41, was arrested by Mexican federal authorities outside the town of Valle de Zaragoza in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, according to a statement from the FBI.

Urbina, whose last known home address was in the 2100 block of South Fairfield, was arrested in March 1998 and charged with kidnapping, beating and sexually assaulting a woman, the FBI said. He was released on bond pending his trial, and he is suspected of sexually assaulting and beating 22-year-old Gabriella Torres to death while he was out on bond.

Torres’ body was found in the trunk of a vehicle that was abandoned in an alley in the 2300 block of West 50th Street and set on fire, the FBI said.

Attempts to locate Urbina after her death were unsuccessful, as he had apparently left the state, and a federal warrant for his arrest was issued on July 20, 1999, authorities said. A federal magistrate in Mexico signed a provisional warrant for Urbina’s arrest on Aug. 26, 2006.

Urbina is charged in Cook County Circuit Court with sexual assault of both women as well as the murder of Torres, according to the FBI. He remains in custody in Mexico pending extradition proceedings.

“Many family members have waited a long time for this day to come and they deserve the opportunity to face the accused in a court of law,” Michael J. Anderson, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Chicago Field Office, said in the statement.

“The FBI is extremely appreciative of our law enforcement partners in Mexico, as well as our local, state, and federal partners, for their tremendous cooperation and collaboration in the capture of this Top Ten Fugitive,” Anderson said.

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