Utah man wanted in 2016 kidnapping, rape arrested in Mexico

Edgar Moreno Zepeda. 2018 photo: Salt Lake County

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, May 4, 2021, (Gephardt Daily) — A Utah man wanted for a 2016 kidnapping and rape in West Valley City has been arrested in Mexico.

According to a statement from the U.S. Marshals Service in Utah, parole fugitive Edgar Zepeda, 26, was arrested April 27 in Ameca-Jalisco, Mexico. He was then flown to San Diego, where he is currently being housed while awaiting extradition to Utah, the statement said.

Zepeda, who is also wanted for a separate offense, “has been on the run since 2019 after being charged in Third District Court in Salt Lake City with aggravated kidnapping and aggravated sexual assault,” the marshals’ service said. “Zepeda’s last known address was in Kearns.”

An arrest warrant for Zepeda was issued in 2018 when he was taken into custody and provided law enforcement a DNA sample, the USMS statement said.

“The sample was later matched to the 2016 unsolved crime, and a warrant for his arrest was issued. Once the warrant was issued, West Valley City Police referred the case to the USMS and the Violent Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team (FAST).”

The 2019 probable cause statement filed in 3rd District Court, stemming from the 2016 case, states Zepeda and another man forced a woman pedestrian into their vehicle then took her to an abandoned house where Zepeda allegedly raped her. He was charged with one county of aggravated first degree felony kidnapping and four first degree felony counts of aggravated sexual assault.

Investigators from the USMS and partners in Mexico said they had been tracking Zepeda for months, including a sighting in Guadalajara reported in February 2021.

“This case illustrates the importance of law enforcement partnerships, both locally and globally, and the tenacity and persistence of our Deputy US Marshals,” said Matthew D. Harris, U.S. marshal for the District of Utah. “After nearly 4½ years, due to the tireless efforts of Deputy US Marshals, a victim can now feel some comfort that justice will finally be served.”


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