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Man extradited to Phoenix after stabbing woman to death in 2012, fleeing to Mexico

Gilbert_Villarreal.jpg
Posted at 9:34 PM, Sep 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-01 17:13:27-04

PHOENIX — Officials with the United States Marshals Service have announced the extradition of a man back to the U.S. who was wanted by the Phoenix Police Department in 2012.

Gilbert “Yogi” Villarreal, 34, was extradited to Phoenix after his arrest in Cancun, Mexico in 2016.

Villarreal was wanted for first-degree murder of 22-year-old Shelia Lomes and her unborn child.

Just after midnight on March 26, 2012 Phoenix police say residents at an apartment complex near 32nd Avenue and Beardsley Road say they heard a woman scream and bang on doors for help. Lomes was found dead in a stairwell after being stabbed multiple times.

Her 2-year-old son was later found, not hurt, but wandering through the apartment complex crying for his mother.

Near Lomes’ body, Phoenix police officers found the knife used in the murder and their investigation quickly turned to her estranged husband, 24-year-old Gilbert Villarreal who fled to Tijuana, Mexico.

Between 2012 and 2016, U.S. Marshals say they went to Hermosillo and Cancun, Mexico to try and locate Villarreal.

In December 2016, he was arrested by Mexican police for attempted homicide in Cancun after he stabbed a woman in her neck.

He was convicted and held in jail until being released in December 2019. He was then held in custody and returned to the Phoenix and booked into Maricopa County Jail late Thursday afternoon.

“The U.S. Marshals Service in Arizona is actively searching for hundreds of violent fugitives who are wanted in the United States and are circumventing prosecution by fleeing to Mexico,” said United States Marshal David Gonzales. “The arrest of Gilbert Villareal in Cancun, Mexico, was the result of the collaboration between the Arizona U.S. Marshals Service, Phoenix Police Department, INTERPOL, and our Mexican law enforcement partners.”