THE father of a slain Winnipeg-born man said he can start seeking closure after his son's wife was arrested in Spain Sunday.
Aurea Vazquez Rijos is accused of hiring somebody to kill her husband, Adam Anhang, a Winnipeg-born real estate developer. Anhang was beaten and stabbed to death in the Puerto Rican capital of San Juan in 2005. Vazquez was charged in 2008 by a U.S. grand jury with offering $3 million for her husband's death. She denied the charges but fled from Puerto Rico, where she and Anhang had lived, to Italy. Since then, she lived in Florence and Venice. She was taken into custody after getting off a flight in Spain, FBI spokesman Moises Quinones said.
Abe Anhang, Adam's father, spoke with the Free Press on Monday.
"Five years is a long time, a very long time. She had a very good vacation in Italy," he said of Vazquez.
"We were very relieved and pleased because we think justice will now be done."
He said the eight years since his son's death have been hard on him.
"As a parent, it's agonizing. You lost a child," he said. But the arrest means he will be able to move on, he said.
"We're heading toward closure. We see the light at the end of the tunnel. We're now relying completely on the American judicial system," he said.
"It was the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office who were able to bring this around. They're the ones who've done an incredibly good job."
Anhang said authorities told him Vazquez's sister and her former husband have also been arrested and charged in connection with the killing.
The extradition process from Spain could take six to nine months.
After Adam Anhang's slaying, Vazquez refused to co-operate with investigators and filed a civil suit against her late husband's family, seeking $1 million in damages and millions more from his estate. A judge in Puerto Rico dismissed her suit.
Anhang, 32, was beaten and stabbed to death in a popular tourist district of the Puerto Rican capital in September 2005 as he walked with Vazquez.
She sustained minor injuries in the attack.
A wrongfully convicted Puerto Rican man spent eight months in a maximum-security prison for the high-profile slaying of Anhang before getting released in June 2008 after another man, Alex Pabon Colon, was indicted for the killing. Since then, the FBI has been working to arrest Vazquez but ran into difficulties since Italy does not extradite suspects who face the death penalty.
"I sat through that first trial, and I felt they had the wrong man. I was the one who went to the FBI and asked them to look into it," Abe Anhang told the Free Press.
According to the 2008 indictment, Vazquez offered Pabon money and lured Anhang to the tourist district the night of his death. The indictment said two other unidentified people were involved in the plot.
Anhang had developed beachfront condominiums and hotels in Puerto Rico and also was the CEO of an online-gambling-software company based in Costa Rica. He had moved to Puerto Rico a year before the attack.
-- with files from The Canadian Press