FBI: Man wanted in 2008 murder of LC woman now on agency's ‘Most - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Man wanted in 2008 murder of LC woman now on FBI's 'Most Wanted' list

Jose Manuel Garcia Guevara (Source: FBI) Jose Manuel Garcia Guevara (Source: FBI)
Jose Manuel Garcia Guevara (Source: FBI) Jose Manuel Garcia Guevara (Source: FBI)
Jose Manuel Garcia Guevara (Source: FBI) Jose Manuel Garcia Guevara (Source: FBI)
Wanda Barton (Source: KPLC file photo) Wanda Barton (Source: KPLC file photo)
The FBI's billboard on Guevara (Source: FBI) The FBI's billboard on Guevara (Source: FBI)

A suspect in the brutal murder of a Lake Charles woman has been named to the FBI's 10 "Most Wanted" List.

Officials said 25-year-old Jose Manuel Garcia Guevara is the man authorities are seeking in the home invasion, sexual assault and murder of 26-year-old Wanda Barton.

Authorities said it happened in the early morning hours of Feb. 19, 2008. The murder reportedly happened in front of Barton's 4-year-old stepson. Barton was stabbed to death.

Authorities said Guevara was an illegal alien working construction in the Lake Charles area and was a neighbor of Barton's.

Guevara reportedly fled to Dallas after the murder.

Authorities had information at the time that he then fled to his hometown of Rioverde, San Luis Potosi in Mexico, a region south of Laredo, Texas. He is believed to still be in Mexico, but authorities said he may have traveled to the U.S. using fraudulent documentation.

Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, officials with the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office and the Calcasieu District Attorney's Office combined Monday morning to update the public in the case.

The briefing was held at the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office.

Guevara is described as 5-feet-6-inches to 5-feet-8-inches with brown eyes and dark hair. He weighs around 160 to 180 pounds. He has a tattoo of the letter "J" on his shoulder.

The FBI is offering up to $100,000 for information leading to his arrest. He is considered armed and dangerous.

He is being charged with second-degree murder, aggravated rape and aggravated burglary in the case.

You can view the FBI's poster HERE.

We'll have more details in the case later today.

Copyright 2013 KPLC. All rights reserved.


The following is a news release from the FBI regarding Monday's announcement:

New Orleans – Michael Anderson, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's New Orleans Office, today announces the addition of Jose Manuel Garcia Guevara to the FBI's "Ten Most Wanted Fugitives" list.  Guevara is wanted for the brutal sexual assault and murder of a woman in Lake Charles, Louisiana, in 2008.  Joining Anderson in making this announcement in Lake Charles were Sheriff Tony Mancuso, Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office, and Calcasieu Parish District Attorney John DeRosier.
Guevara was added in conjunction with a second individual, both of whom were announced during a national FBI press conference held today in Washington, DC.  The list, established in 1950, now reaches a milestone as the 499th and 500th fugitives are added to it.  Guevara is the 499th addition.  Of the 500 fugitives appearing on the list, 469 have been apprehended or located, 155 of those as a result of citizen cooperation.
Guevara, age 25, has been the subject of a manhunt since 2008, when he allegedly murdered a 26-year-old woman in the presence of her four-year-old stepson.  Guevara and the victim lived in the same mobile home park.  Guevara allegedly broke into the victim's home, raped her and brutally stabbed her to death.  The State of Louisiana, Calcasieu Parish, 14th Judicial District Court, charged Guevara with second degree murder, aggravated rape, and aggravated burglary, and a state warrant was issued for his arrest on April 17, 2008.  A federal arrest warrant was issued on October 1, 2009, by the United States District Court, Western District of Louisiana, after Guevara was charged federally with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.
In making this announcement, Anderson stated: "Jose Manuel Garcia Guevara is wanted for his alleged role in this brutal attack and murder, made all the more heinous in that he allegedly committed this crime in the presence of a child. We are hoping that the publicity associated with this case, along with the significant reward being offered, will lead to his arrest."
Guevara is described as a White (Hispanic) male, approximately 5'6" to 5'8" tall and weighing 160 to 180 pounds.  He has black or dark brown hair and black eyes.  He has a tattoo of the letter "J" on his shoulder.  Guevara has been employed as a laborer.  Guevara was born on February 11, 1988 in La Boquilla, Rioverde, San Luis Potosi, Mexico.  He is believed to be in Mexico, but may have traveled to the United States using fraudulent documentation. 
The search for Guevara is being coordinated by the Lake Charles Resident Agency of the New Orleans Field Division of the FBI in collaboration with the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office.
"We are very pleased the FBI has added Guevara to the Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list. We have been actively looking for him since the murder in 2008," said Sheriff Mancuso. I am optimistic this will result in his capture and bring closure to the victim's family who have been very patient during this ordeal in hopes we can bring Guevara back to Calcasieu Parish to face justice."
"Cases of this nature have an extremely negative impact on the lives of all hard-working, honest, Spanish speaking migrant workers who come to this land of opportunity to support their families," said District Attorney DeRosier. "The Mexican government should apprehend this man and send him to Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana to answer to the criminal justice system for his criminal behavior and the damage he has done to the hard-working American family who are the victims in the case."
A reward of up to $100,000 is being offered for information leading to the location and arrest of Guevara. Anyone recognizing him or having any information as to his current whereabouts is asked to call the Lake Charles office of the New Orleans FBI at (337) 433-6353 or the nearest law enforcement agency. Given the nature of the charges filed against him, Guevara should be considered armed and dangerous.
Additional information about this case and the FBI's "Ten Most Wanted Fugitive" program can be found online at www.fbi.gov.
The public is reminded that a complaint is not evidence of guilt and that all defendants in a criminal case are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law

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