Phoenix, AZ – On Thursday, August 30th, Elton Jardines, 30, was
deported to the United States after his arrest in Tlaquepaque, Jalisco,
Mexico. Jardines was wanted by the Phoenix Police Department for two
counts of 1st Degree Murder and two counts of Aggravated Assault.
“Elton Jardines is accused of committing a cowardly and senseless
act of violence which was not forgotten by the victims, their families,
or the community,” said United States Marshal David Gonzales. “The
United States Marshals Service and Phoenix Police Department worked
tirelessly to bring to an end to a 9-year manhunt. A special thanks to
our partners in Mexican law enforcement that helped ensure that this
double homicide suspect can finally be held accountable for his crimes.”
In the early morning hours of May 31, 2009, Jardines, and three
other associates began an argument with a group of women parked in a
nearby vehicle in the parking lot of a local convenience store which
resulted in four people being shot, two of which died from their wounds.
Witnesses state Jardines brandished a handgun, fired numerous
rounds in the air before turning the weapon on the women, firing
multiple rounds directly into the group. Joanna Lopez and Crystal Arrona
were struck and killed. Elisa Cornell and Andrea Benson were also hit,
though they survived their injuries. After the shooting, Jardines fled
the scene to avoid apprehension. The vehicle used in the commission of
the crime was later found burnt and abandoned.
On September 9,
2011, the Phoenix Police Department requested the assistance of the U.S.
Marshals Service led Arizona WANTED Violent Offender Task Force in
capturing Jardines. Due to the extreme violence of the crime and the
resources available to Jardines to avoid capture the U.S. Marshals
Service classified it as a Major Case in 2016. In 2017, additional
assistance was requested from the community when the search for Jardines
was featured on The Hunt with John Walsh. Based on the renewed public
attention, information was developed indicating the fugitive had fled
the country to Mexico, Task Force members pinpointed his location and
contacted the Mexican Law Enforcement authorities to assist in
apprehending Jardines. Acting on this information, law enforcement in
Mexico arrested Jardines on August 29, 2018, where he was subsequently
transferred to a Mexican jail and held awaiting deportation.
Late Thursday evening Jardines was returned to the United States and
held in the Maricopa County 4th Avenue Jail.
The United States
Marshals Service is the nation’s oldest federal law enforcement agency.
Annually, U.S. Marshals arrest more than 50 percent of all federal
fugitives and serve more federal warrants than all other federal
Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found
Oldest Federal Law Enforcement Agency