A man who went on the run after brutally stabbing his ex-girlfriend in a Miami bar more than 20 years ago has been extradited back to South Florida from Guatemala to face murder charges, authorities said.
Walter Saul Perez, now 63, was booked into the Miami-Dade jail Friday on first-degree murder, second-degree attempted murder and aggravated battery charges, records showed.
According to a news release from the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office, Perez was indicted by a grand jury in 2018 in connection with the Dec. 4, 2000 incident.
The news release said the victim and her then-boyfriend were sitting in the El Salvador Bar at 1771 Northwest 7th Street when her former boyfriend, Perez, entered.
Perez allegedly stated in Spanish to the victim "this is the way I wanted to catch you" and began to argue with her.
He then allegedly pulled out a knife and stabbed the victim in the arm and the stomach as the victim’s boyfriend tried to intervene and was stabbed in the chest, the release said.
A bar employee tried to call the police, but Perez told her not to move. Instead, she ran and hid in the bathroom.
The victim’s boyfriend ran to get help and saw Perez chase the victim behind the bar and allegedly stab her multiple times, the release said. Perez then fled the bar on foot.
The victim, who was found to have been stabbed 26 times, died from her injuries. Her name wasn't released.
Perez was arrested in Guatemala in December 2021. He was being held without bond Friday, Miami-Dade jail records showed, and attorney information wasn't available.
"After almost twenty-two years, Walter Saul Perez is now in state custody. For the victim’s family, this long wait has only added to their suffering," State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a statement. "Walter Saul Perez will now have to stand before a criminal court judge and face the justice he so long sought to avoid."
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