Search still on for suspect

April 22, 2008 5:28:09 PM PDT
The search for a suspect accused of killing a mother of five is still on. We've learned Timoteo Rios is an illegal immigrant who has been in the Harris County Jail twice.

Timoteo Rios, 23, is a fugitive accused of fatally stabbing a mother of five during a botched robbery. He was not only in this country illegally, but we've learned while police arrested him twice before for Class c misdemeanors, authorities had no choice but to release him after he served his time. It appears federal detainers were never issued by immigration officials.

"In this particular case, it just echoes what we've seen time and time again throughout the decade," said Andy Kahan who is the city of Houston crime victim's advocate.

Rios was first arrested on May 29th 2007 for possession of marijuana at which time authorities say he admitted to being in this country illegally. They entered his name into a database which a department spokesman says was faxed to the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Rios was released from jail three days later.

Police rearrested Rios on June 27th. The sheriff's department says it notified ICE, yet despite the fact he was already on a list sent to them, it appears there was no detainer to hold him. Without one, he was released on July 6th. The process repeated itself.

"The problem that you have is you're dealing with limited resources and manpower and the cases he was booked in on don't really make it to the top of the totem pole as far as issuing a detainers," Kahan said.

If you know where he is, call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS. You could earn a cash reward.

The man accused of driving the get-away car, Kennedy Escoto, is due in court Wednesday. He was supposed to be in court Monday, but investigators said he was sick with tuberculosis. He's charged with aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon.

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