MONTEREY PARK (CBSLA.com) — A man accused of murdering a San Gabriel teen and fleeing to Mexico was apprehended Sunday after eight years on the run.
Daniel Guerrero, now 27, allegedly shot 17-year-old high school senior Ryan Dasalla a block from Gabrielino High School on April 27, 2005, in what detectives describe as a case of mistaken identity.
Guerrero and his brother Gabriel, who were both said to be gang members, allegedly targeted Dasalla with the help of a female accomplice in the mistaken belief he had attacked their younger brother.
After eight years of mourning the loss of her son, Maria Dasalla said the call Monday was so unexpected L.A. County Sheriff’s detectives had to tell her twice.
“I was in a shell; I couldn’t believe what I was hearing,” she said.
In 2010 Gabriel Guerrero received a sentence of 84 years to life for his role in the attack on Dasalla. The second accomplice, Sarah Toledo, was convicted of first-degree murder and conspiracy and sentenced to 50 years to life in 2011.
Daniel Guerrero was believed to have fled to South America, and was profiled on “America’s Most Wanted” and “L.A.’s Most Wanted.”
After Ryan’s murder, the Dasallas handed out flyers with Guerrero’s photo and sent boxes of flyers to loved ones in other states. But as the years passed, “I didn’t think we had a chance,” said Maria Dasalla.
Guerrero was found in Tijuana living under the alias “Joel Lopez” when he was caught. The U.S. Marshalls Service brought Guerrero back to the United States on Sunday.
“We’ll have some closure, but we’ll never have complete closure because I don’t have my son,” said Dasalla, who told KCAL9′s Cristy Fajardo her family pays trips to Ryan’s grave on his birthday, Mother’s Day, and the anniversary of his death, along with their son’s many friends.
“The kids are great — they’re not even kids anymore, these are grown men — and they still come and make time for us,” said Maria Dasalla. “My son had great friends.”
Daniel Guerrero is being held on $3.1 million bail.
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