Jorge Rueda Laderos He was accused of beating and strangling the teacher Sue Mark in the state of Maryland in 2010. While Leon Ferrara was a yoga teacher dedicated to helping others cultivate their personal development in the Mexican city of Guadalajara.
The surprising thing is that Jorge and León are actually the same man: one of the most wanted on the FBI’s list of fugitive criminals.
The story of his capture began when León Ferrara disappeared without a trace while walking his dogs in December.
One of her students went to report the disappearance of her yogi because he did not have a spouse, children or close relatives, when she was surprised that no one with that name existed in the database of the Mexican authorities. But the astonishment was even greater when several hours later the Special Prosecutor for Missing Persons of the State of Jalisco informed him: “Your friend is not missing, he is detained and has an Interpol file.”
The student who preferred to reserve her name in an interview with the newspaper The country still trying to digest what happened. “It has been very strong. I feel like I’m grieving because I killed a friend. I know León, but I don’t know who Jorge is, ”he said.
Police in Montgomery County, Maryland, reported that Rueda Landeros, 52, was arrested on December 13 in Mexico after spending 12 years on the run. Investigations point to him as the only suspect in the murder of an American University accounting professor, Sue Marcum, who was also 52 years old at the time of her murder.
Federal authorities said Rueda Landeros was born in Juárez, Chihuahua, and “had both a personal and financial relationship with the victim.”
While Rueda Landeros awaits being extradited to Mexico, he assures that he had nothing to do with Marcum’s murder because he was not in the United States at the time.
Journalist Elijah Camhaji he perceived ambiguity in Rueda Landeros’ responses when he interviewed him by phone to write a report for El País. The defendant rambles to avoid direct answers.
“When asked if he committed the murder, he says he is innocent of it. When they ask him about his relationship with the victim, he answers that there was something like that. When asked if he would apologize to his friends for hiding who he really was from them for 10 years, he replies that he doesn’t know,” Camhaji wrote.
Details of the investigation have been published in the press in a scattered manner over the years.
A 2017 CNN article stated that Marcum was hit with a glass bottle. At that time, law enforcement authorities stated that Marcum had been strangled because of the position of his body and that the perpetrator had left the crime scene as if it had been a robbery, although nothing of value was missing inside the house.
Only the teacher’s Jeep had been stolen. Although later investigations showed that the robbery and the murder were incidents that were not related.
A report in The Washington Post said that Rueda Landeros met Marcum during a Spanish class that he taught six years before the bloody denouement. They would have been united by their common interest in yoga.
The same newspaper indicated that Rueda Landeros worked as a financial advisor in Washington DC, wore expensive suits before meeting Marcum. He then moved to Bethesda, a small city of 65,000 just outside of Washington, DC, in the state of Maryland, where he met Marcum.
Her friends tried to alert her to the bad intentions of Rueda Landeros but Marcum did not want to listen to them.. She was fascinated with the blossoming relationship.
Marcum sought the help of an accountant and friend, Don Williamson, for a $3.3 million tax lien Landeros faced for failing to file tax returns related to stock sales. Williamson said the matter was eventually resolved with the IRS, but he also tried to warn Marcum off Rueda Landeros.
About his relationship with Marcum, he has given two versions. In 2011, he told The Washington Post that they had not been romantically involved. “We scaled that wall of romantic love at some point, but there was nothing behind the wall.” “There was nothing that could move in that direction.”
But in his recent interview from jail with El País, he stated that “it was a more or less intimate relationship.”
Rueda Landeros left DC in 2008 with the excuse that he planned to return to Juárez to teach yoga. She admitted to the Post that she returned in September 2010 to visit her mother in northern Virginia and met up with Marcum, but she claimed she was in Mexico when she was killed in October.
The authorities would later discover that Marcum had a $500,000 life insurance policy and Rueda Landeros was the sole beneficiary.
In 2011, investigators obtained the results of a DNA test linking Rueda Landeros to the crime scene. The FBI said a local arrest warrant was issued in April of that year charging him with first-degree murder. And in June a federal warrant was issued charging Landeros with illegal flight to avoid prosecution, but by that time the defendant had already disappeared.
It was learned that Rueda Landeros had the audacity to mock the investigators, by emailing an El Paso detective after police made several attempts to bring him back across the border.
“Of course, you are cordially invited to cross the same bridge, in the opposite direction, and meet me at Sanborn’s, a great cafe and restaurant here in Juárez, and we can talk business all you want,” Rueda Landeros wrote. “It is better if you come on a Sunday. We can have lunch. Of course I invite. Yours, George.”
The Country explained that León Ferrara was “born” shortly after Jorge Rueda Landeros tried to visit his brothers in Texas for the last time and learned of the arrest warrant.
It was not clear how Mexican officials got the lead on “León Ferrara.” But in early December, an FBI office “received information” about the whereabouts of Rueda Landeros.
The Mexican authorities coordinated an operation and the fugitive was captured without incident on December 13.
Alan Marcum, Sue Marcum’s brother, applauded the defendant’s apprehension and hopes that he can finally be prosecuted.
Those who knew only one of Rueda Landeros’ identities in Mexico were left full of unanswered questions.
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