Man accused of trying to kill girlfriend 30 years ago is finally in jail in Galveston

Courtney Fischer Image
Thursday, February 24, 2022
Man accused of trying to kill girlfriend in 1991 is finally in jail
Luis Calderon was arrested after the kidnapping and attempted murder 30 years ago, but he bonded out and fled the country. Now, he's back in a Texas jail.

GALVESTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A suspect is in the Galveston County Jail more than 30 years after a woman survived a kidnapping and an attempted murder.

Luis Calderon had been wanted since 1991 when he was caught nearly two years ago in Central America.

Calderon was extradited from El Salvador on Tuesday, and now sits in a Texas jail.

He's charged with kidnapping and trying to kill Diane Sanchez in 1991.

Investigators say Sanchez was his girlfriend at the time.

Calderon reportedly attacked her and dumped her along I-45, leaving her to die.

SEE ALSO: Galveston Co. fugitive on the run for 29 years arrested

A man who rescued Diane Sanchez says "it's the closest thing to a miracle" that she survived after the incident.

Sanchez was found in "horrific condition" by a good Samaritan. She was transported to the hospital, where she was able to recover from her injuries.

Shortly after the attempted murder, Calderon was arrested, but he bonded out of jail and skipped town.

For 29 years, he evaded authorities. He was finally arrested in 2020 in El Salvador, where he had started a new life, had gotten married and had children.

Since then, police have been working to bring him back to Galveston.

"It was a tedious process in locating him. We felt, for many years, he was still in the States, but as time progressed, our investigation led us, thanks to records that we got from ICE, to El Salvador," said Lt. Tommy Hansen with the Galveston County Sheriff's Office.

Sanchez was not there at a news conference Wednesday, but officials who spoke to her say she told them she "finally sleeps at night."

Getting Calderon back to the U.S. was a collaborative effort between the Galveston County Sheriff's Office, Galveston County DA's Office, Department of Justice, FBI, U.S. Marshals Office, U.S. State Department, ICE, Senator Ted Cruz and El Salvadoran officials.

Galveston Sheriff Henry Trochesset said Cruz wrote a letter to El Salvador's president and made several key phone calls which helped speed up the extradition process.

Calderon appeared in court Wednesday morning, where he had his bond set at $1 million for each of his two charges which are aggravated kidnapping and attempted murder.

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