CHINO (CBSLA) — A month later and hundreds of miles away from the Chino Shopping Center where 25-year-old Thalia Flores of Montclair was shot to death in the middle of the day, the cross-country manhunt for her accused killer finally came to an end in Mexico.
That’s where authorities located her ex-boyfriend Julio Rocha Wednesday.
He has since been jailed in Rancho Cucamonga, charged with murder and the attempted murder of the passenger in her car who survived and ran to a hospital bleeding.
“Finally, she’s gonna rest in peace,” said Maria Rocha, Thalia’s cousin.
Thalia’s family assumed Rocha fled to Mexico, where they say he has family.
So as time went on, they feared he would never be caught or even worse, that he would come back on his own.
“At least now we know he’s locked up behind bars,” said Maria Flores, Thalia’s sister.
“We were scared to go out in the street. We didn’t know where he was at,” said Rocha.
They were scared because of what they saw the day before Thalia’s murder.
Her sisters say Rocha showed up where they were having lunch even though Thalia hadn’t told him where they were at.
They say he had been stalking her for weeks, ever since she ended the seven-year relationship they say she was scared to leave.
“She had a lot of plans to travel,” said Flores. “And she had just recently started feeling free. Yeah. She was barely starting to have fun again. To live her life.”
Thuesday, at his first court appearance, Rocha plead not guilty.
Sources tell CBSLA he turned himself in while in Mexico.
“Nothing can bring her back. Even if he stays in jail for life,” said Rocha. “But we’re finally gonna get justice for her.”
Rocha’s bail has been set at $3 million. He’s scheduled to appear in court again on May 2.