Suspect in double murder in Miami brought back from Argentina

An Argentine man wanted for a double murder in Miami-Dade County — accused of strangling his ex-wife and her step-father — was brought back Thursday after having fled to his homeland a decade ago, authorities said.

Hugo Quesada also allegedly stabbed his former mother-in-law in the back, but she survived the attack.

Earlier this week, deputy U.S. marshals picked up the one-time fugitive, now 56, in Buenos Aires after the Argentine government approved his extradition last month. Quesada had been captured by Argentine authorities in November 2006 on a Miami-Dade State Attorney’s provisional arrest warrant, but he fought his extradition to South Florida.

Quesada had quietly run a small grocery store in a suburb of Buenos Aires— never leaving the building or making phone calls — before Argentine agents caught up with him.

“He was surprised. He said, ‘How did you find me?!’ ’’ Eduardo Caccaviello, an Argentine federal agent in charge of Interpol in Buenos Aires, told The Herald at the time.

Quesada, who had worked as a jeweler in Miami, was using the identity of his former brother-in-law in an attempt to avoid capture.

The Argentine agents tracked him down with information cultivated with help from the U.S. marshals and Miami-Dade’s homicide unit. Caccaviello, the Argentine Interpol agent, said they tracked Quesada for 11 months before honing in on his grocery store, where he also lived. Quesada’s mother also lived in Buenos Aires.

Miami-Dade detectives wanted him for the Aug. 10, 2003 killings of his ex-wife, Maritza Quesada, and her step-father, Emilio Xiques, and for the attempted murder of her mother, Nieves Caridad Xiques.

According to police, Quesada strangled his ex-wife at her Country Walk home and then he showed up at the Little Havana home of her mother. Quesada taunted the mother that he had strangled her daughter. He stabbed Xiques in the back, but she survived.

Maritza Quesada’s body was later found in her Country Walk home. So was the corpse of her step-father, Emilio Xiques, who was stuffed in a shed. But investigators did not discover his badly decomposing body for three days until surviving family opened the shed.

Police officials later acknowledged they botched the initial search. The Xiques family sued the department but later dropped the suit.

A possible motive for the alleged rampage: Quesada’s ex-wife may have tried to thwart his attempts to take their two children back to Argentina.

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