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Utah man wanted in 2016 rape, kidnapping arrested in Mexico

Posted at 8:42 AM, May 04, 2021

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah man faces several felony charges in connection with an aggravated kidnapping and sexual assault reported in West Valley City in 2016.

The U.S. Marshals Service announced the suspect, 26-year-old Edgar Zepeda, was arrested late last month in Ameca-Jalisco, Mexico after an exhaustive investigation.

"This case illustrates the importance of law enforcement partnerships, both locally and globally, and the tenacity and persistence of our Deputy US Marshals. After nearly 4 ½ years, due to the tireless efforts of Deputy US Marshals, a victim can now feel some comfort that justice will finally be served," said Matthew D. Harris, United States Marshal for the District of Utah, in a news release from USMS.

The news release says Zepeda was also arrested in 2018 and provided law enforcement officials with a DNA sample linking him to the kidnapping and rape case.

Zepeda was charged in Third District Court with aggravated kidnapping and aggravated sexual assault in 2019, and he went on the run soon afterward, the news release says.

The USMS worked with its international partners to locate Zepeda, and USMS officials in Guadalajara learned of his possible location in February.

Zepeda was arrested without incident on April 27 and flown to San Diego, where he's being held until he can be extradited to Utah.

Zepeda faces one count of aggravated kidnapping and four counts of aggravated sexual assault. All of the charges are first-degree felonies.

USMS said Zepeda was also a parole fugitive who had been wanted on an unrelated charge.