Peru’s National Police on Thursday arrested Nazira María Cross, 48, a Costa Rican woman and one of the FBI’s most-wanted suspects, on suspicion of murdering her ex-husband in 2008 in California.
The arrest occurred in the province of Chanchamayo, and according to the local newspaper La Prensa, U.S. authorities already have requested her extradition.
Cross has been sought by the FBI since 2009, and in 2012, the agency issued an international arrest warrant for her. The state of California offered a $1 million reward for information on her whereabouts.
Prosecutors say the Tica allegedly murdered her former husband, Mike Cross, 55, a successful businessman, by poisoning him on July 31, 2008. The victim allegedly discovered that she had embezzled thousands of dollars from their jointly held businesses in California and Nevada.
Police believe that after poisoning her husband, the suspect, known as the Costa Rican “black widow,” drove the dying man to Nevada. After he died, she buried him on a ranch in Lovelock.
The couple met in Costa Rica when Michael Cross was on vacation. They had been married for eight years before they divorced in January 2008. They had two children.
Neighbors concerned about Mike Cross’ disappearance filed a missing persons report with local police after discovering he was never admitted to a local hospital, as the suspect claimed.
Police found her in Nevada with luggage packed to leave the country, and when officers asked her about her ex-husband, she said: “He died suddenly and we already buried him.”
Officers and judicial authorities exhumed the body, and an autopsy confirmed the cause of death. However, by that time the woman had fled the country and remained a fugitive until Thursday.
Nazira Cross in 2012 became one of the FBI’s top three most-wanted women.