Alleged kidnapper featured on 'America's Most Wanted' deported from Mexico

Friday, October 6th 2006, 9:58 pm
By: News On 6

MEXICO CITY (AP) _ An alleged kidnapper featured on ``America's Most Wanted'' turned himself in to U.S. authorities and was deported to the United States, the U.S. ambassador to Mexico said Friday.

Ivan Villa, who is wanted on a felony kidnapping warrant for allegedly abducting his 16-month-old stepson Justin in New Mexico last year, went to U.S. officials in the city of Guadalajara Thursday, Ambassador Tony Garza said in a statement.

A spokeswoman for Mexico's federal Attorney General's office said she did not yet have any information on the case.

U.S. authorities also want to question Villa, a 22-year-old U.S. citizen, about the death of his wife, Kristi Black. But they have not called him a suspect.

In May 2005, the 19-year-old Black was found strangled in the apartment shared by the couple in Ruidoso, New Mexico. Villa and his stepson disappeared, leading to a frantic search for the toddler.

Later that month, Justin was recovered in Mexico. Authorities declined to release details but had reported earlier that Black's car was found abandoned in the border city of Ciudad Juarez. They also had received a tip that a man fitting Villa's description was spotted carrying a baby across a bridge on the border.

On May 14, Villa was featured on the popular ``America's Most Wanted'' television show.

Garza said the deportation showed Mexico was not a safe place for those wanted in the United States.

``Fugitives from justice are feeling the pressure from both sides, as U.S. and Mexican law enforcement officials work harder than ever to ensure that crossing the border does not protect fugitives from the consequences of their crimes,'' he said.

On Mothers Day 2005, police responded to a call of a verbal dispute between Black and Villa, but did not make an arrest because they said they saw no evidence of physical violence and the couple agreed to separate.

Several hours later, a friend went to the apartment and found the woman's body.