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An MS-13 member who murdered his girlfriend and stood by while her toddler was killed in 2010 was placed on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” list Wednesday.
Juan Elias Garcia, aka Cruzito, 21, is a member of the MS-13 gang and his loyalty to them is unwavering. In February 2010, Garcia lured his 19-year-old girlfriend, Vanessa Argueta, and her 2-year-old son, Diego Torres, to the woods on Long Island after promising to take the young mother out to dinner. According to The New York Daily News, two shots were fired to kill Argueta, with Garcia behind one of them.
When Argueta’s child held onto Garcia’s leg in fear, Garcia did nothing to soothe the child and stood idly by while his accomplice, Adalberto Ariel Guzman, shot the child.
"Garcia decided that penalty for disrespecting the gang was death. While crime and gang-related activity often goes hand in hand, the execution-style murders of Vanessa and her 2-year-old son is a new low even for MS-13," said George Venizelos, second-in-command at the FBI's New York office.
According to the Associated Press, Argueta was killed because members of rival gangs, to whom she had ties, made threats toward Garcia.
Following the shooting, Garcia fled the United States and returned to his home country of El Salvador with Guzman and another member of the MS-13, Rene Mendez Mejia.
Garcia was born in El Salvador and speaks both Spanish and English. He is 5’4, has black hair and brown eyes.
The FBI is offering a $100,000 reward for information regarding Garcia, who was last spotted in 2011 near Honduras.