Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Fugitive widow may return to face trial

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The fugitive widow of former Winnipeg millionaire Adam Anhang claims she will voluntarily return to Puerto Rico to face trial for allegedly plotting his September 2005 murder.

Aurea Vazquez Rijos was charged in the killing earlier this year but has not been arrested, instead fleeing to Italy where she apparently gave birth to twins recently.

The Puerto Rican newspaper El Nuevo sent a reporter to Florence to interview Vazquez, who claims that she played no role in Anhang's death and will not run from the allegations forever. She claims she will come back to San Juan once her babies are healthier.

Abe Anhang, the victim's father, told the Free Press he's angry she is still free. But he believes FBI agents are on the verge of arresting her and beginning extradition proceedings. He also questioned the motive for giving the interview to a seemingly sympathetic reporter who didn't ask any tough questions -- and notes the story was published around the three-year anniversary of his son's death.

"I don't even want to speculate why she timed it to appear now, other than to inflict the greatest amount of pain on our family. In that, she succeeded. What a perverse sense of timing," Anhang said this week.

Alex Pabon Colon -- dubbed "El Loco" by local media -- pleaded guilty earlier this year to killing Anhang and was sentenced to life in prison. Although he currently will not be eligible for parole, justice officials have apparently told Pabon they will reconsider that part of his sentence if he co-operates with the prosecution of three co-accused.

Vazquez, along with her sister and brother-in-law, have now been implicated by Pabon and indicted by a grand jury.

The development provided vindication for another man who'd previously been convicted of the slaying on the streets of San Juan. A jury convicted Jonathan Roman Rivera, 24, of first-degree murder last October despite a lack of forensic evidence. Roman maintained his innocence all along. It took eight months but justice officials finally believed him and freed him from jail. He apparently bears a striking resemblance to Pabon.

According to the indictment, Pabon says he was offered $3 million by Vazquez to kill Anhang. He says they met two days earlier to go over details of the deadly plot.

Anhang, 32, was beaten and stabbed as he and Vazquez were walking from a restaurant in Old San Juan where they had been discussing their pending divorce after just six months of marriage. Anhang was a wealthy real estate investor who developed beach-front condominiums and hotels in the U.S. island territory and was CEO of an online gambling software company based in Costa Rica.

www.mikeoncrime.com

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 26, 2008 $sourceSection$sourcePage

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