Washington, Aug 24 : US authorities have arrested an Indian national, who featured on the “America's Most Wanted” TV show, in Los Angeles over the 1999 slaying of his teenage ex-girlfriend in Canada.
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) today said 33-year-old Ninderjit Singh, also a green card holder of Canada, has been arrested by the federal authorities on Friday.
Singh, who works as a long-haul truck driver, is currently being detained on a provisional arrest warrant, the first step toward extradition to Canada.
Singh's capture marks the culmination of a manhunt that began in 1999 with the shooting death of his 18-year-old ex-girlfriend Poonam Randhawa in Vancouver, ICE said.
According to investigators with the Vancouver Police Department, Randhawa was last seen in a vehicle with Singh near her school. Her body was found a short time later on a nearby street.
His case was featured on “America's Most Wanted” in July 2000, which had generated a number of leads, but the fugitive had continued to elude capture until last week.
Singh was taken into custody on Friday following a traffic stop traffic stop near his San Jacinto, California.
“After more than a decade, this fugitive likely believed he was in the clear, but he underestimated the determination of Canadian and US law enforcement,” said Claude Arnold, special agent in charge for ICE's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Los Angeles.
The break in the long-running search came, ICE said, within the last two weeks after local HSI agents received information from the Vancouver Police Department indicating Singh might be in the Los Angeles area.
Using the new leads provided by the Canadian authorities, HSI agents quickly located Singh, who had been making a delivery out of state, and began tracking his movements.
On Friday morning, California Highway Patrol officers, working in concert with HSI, pulled Singh's big rig over in Irvine, California, and issued him a ticket.
“Thumbprints taken during the traffic stop verified Singh was the murder suspect. After confirming Singh's identity with the Vancouver Police Department, HSI agents and local officers moved in to make the arrest,” ICE said.
“In a world where everyone wants instant gratification it is all too easy to abandon cases that aren't solved quickly,” said Vancouver Police Deputy Chief Warren Lemcke.
“We wouldn't let that happen to Miss Randhawa and her family, or any victim of a crime. We are grateful to our partners in the United States who helped us catch this man,” Lemcke said. PTI