DA Lykos Announces Arrest in 1990 Murder Case
Fifth arrest in six weeks by her Cold Case Fugitive Apprehension Section
HOUSTON - Harris County District Attorney Patricia Lykos announced today the apprehension and arrest of Silvestre Cortez Romero, wanted for the 1990 murder of Nivar Romero. The fugitive had been running from the law for almost 22 years when he was arrested by U.S. Marshals Wednesday. He is currently in custody in California awaiting extradition to Harris County.
The arrest of Romero marks the fifth arrest in six weeks for the Harris County District Attorney's Office Cold Case Fugitive Apprehension (CCFA) Section, an initiative implemented by DA Lykos when she took office in January 2009. The section's goal is to capture criminals who have avoided justice by actively searching for them and aiding other law enforcement agencies with support and information. For years, fugitives accused of violent crimes were not actively sought by the office; prosecutors relied solely on law enforcement to locate and arrest fugitive felons.
The CCFA Section's primary focus is on murder cases-some dating back to the 1970s. Lykos formed the section, having a prosecutor gather, collect, and review files in which murder and capital murder defendants either fled from justice or had never been arrested. Then DA Investigator Chuck Lowery began searching public databases, confirming and entering additional information, and scrutinizing records to locate the fugitives. Approximately 45 cases have been resolved since the section was formed, including more than 20 defendants arrested and returned to Harris County on murder and capital murder warrants.
Lykos credits the hard work of Investigator Lowery and Extradition Administrator Kim Bryant for the successful return of five dangerous felons. "We anticipate even more arrests over the next few weeks," she stated. "They are the dynamic duo."
Lowery and Bryant also coordinated the arrest of David Gonzales, a fugitive on the lam for murder for nearly 30 years, earlier this week in Plains, Montana with assistance from the U.S. Marshals Office. Investigator Lowery located Gonzales in Montana and directed US Marshals to his whereabouts to make the arrest. Gonzales had been living under another name for several years.
Epifaneo Jaimes Arroyo, a fugitive in a 1980 murder, was arrested in Gwinnett County, Georgia on October 20. He successfully eluded authorities for over three decades before being tracked down by Lowery and Bryant.
In September, the CCFA Section apprehended Alfredo Gomez, wanted for a 1981 stabbing murder, and Reginald Sharp wanted for a 1984 capital murder in which an auto parts store employee was robbed and murdered.
Lykos' CCFA Section is a member of the Gulf Coast Violent Offender Fugitive Task Force and coordinates with various law enforcement agencies across the country. The District Attorney congratulates members of the US Marshals Office and officers from the Houston Police Department who assisted in the fugitives' arrests and capture.