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For Immediate Release

Contact:
January 15, 2014 Mike Stokes, Deputy U.S. Marshal
Western District of Missouri, Kansas City (816) 985-6915
Tucson's New Year's Day Double Homicide Suspect Nabbed in Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City, MO – Yesterday evening, U.S. Marshals, Kansas City and Independence Police apprehended a Tucson, Ariz. double homicide suspect. Michael D. Leday, 28, is alleged to have killed Patrick Balbastro, 32, and Cindy Burnett, 46, as well as critically injuring Balbastro’s girlfriend with Balbastro's vehicle. This tragic event took place on New Year's Day 2014 near the 2200 block of East Sunland Vista in Tucson.

Mr. Balbastro was acting as a Good Samaritan and stopped to assist Burnett during an assault on her by Leday. It is alleged Leday took possession of Mr. Balbastro's vehicle and ran over the victims. Burnett worked as a prosecutor for the Tohono O'odom Nation and is survived by her two sons.

Tucson Police Department turned the fugitive investigative effort to the Arizona WANTED Violent Offender Task Force led by the U.S. Marshals Service. The task force consisting of Tucson Police, U.S. Marshals and many other local partners throughout Arizona immediately pursued the Leday with investigative information placing him in the Kansas City area. U.S. Marshals in Kansas City and their local partners led the chase in Kansas City. Yesterday evening at approximately 8:30 p.m., U.S. Marshal and law enforcement partners in Kansas City established surveillance and a perimeter near the Crown Lodge Hotel in Kansas City. While conducting the surveillance a male subject positively identified by law enforcement officers as Leday was seen walking with a female subject later identified as Jessica Terrel, Leday’s girlfriend. Law enforcement attempted to apprehend Leday as he was walking to the hotel when Leday became suspicious and fled on foot. After an intense thirty minute foot pursuit through heavily wooded areas and creek beds, Leday was apprehended without incident. Approximately 40 law enforcement personnel consisting of U.S. Marshals and Kansas City Police Department personnel to include: Tactical Squads, K-9 handlers and their K-9s and air support were utilized in Leday's apprehension. According to deputies, Leday did not alter his appearance while maintaining his fugitive status.

Deputies later learned that Leday had fled Tucson via bus bound for Kansas City the day after the assault. Leday was later reunited with his girlfriend Jessica Terrel after she left Tucson on the thirteenth, headed for Kansas City on a bus. Terrel was arrested for fleeing and failure to obey lawful orders by Kansas City police officers. Leday was transported to a local detention center pending a court appearance in Kansas City for extradition proceedings.

U.S. Marshal Alfred Lomax from Kansas City stated, "The critical relationships which exist between the U.S. Marshals Service, Kansas City and Independence Police Departments and other local partners have been very successful in all of our efforts to combat violent crime. This arrest is another example of the effectiveness of those partnerships. Fugitives will seek no refuge in our district due to the great work by our partners in Kansas City and the surrounding region."

The Kansas City Fugitive Task Force is based in Kansas City, Mo., and includes members of the U.S. Marshals Service, Kansas City Missouri Police Department, Independence Missouri Police Department and other federal law enforcement agencies. The task force objectives are to seek out and arrest fugitives charged with violent crimes, drug offenses, sex offenders and other felonies. Nationally the United States Marshals Service fugitive programs are carried out with local law enforcement in 94 district offices, 85 local fugitive task forces, 7 regional task forces, as well as a growing network of offices in foreign countries.

Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found at http://www.usmarshals.gov.

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