LAPEER COUNTY — For the past five years, police have been on the hunt for 26 year-old Victor Andrade and though the manhunt hasn't always been easy, they're not ready to give up.
Sgt. Jason Parks of the Lapeer County Sheriff's Department said with the help of assistant prosecutor Tom Sparrow they're in the process of filing a provisional warrant with Mexico's Department of Justice. It's believed Andrade fled to his native country after being charged with second degree murder for the Sept. 2002 auto accident that killed 18 year-old Renee Woodward of Lapeer.
"There are really a lot of fine details," Parks said of the complicated process needed to extradite the Mexican national.
"The application is about 200 pages long."
The government still could deny extradition but would have to hold a trial based on the Lapeer County charges in Mexico.
After a short profile of Andrade ran in a November 2006 airing of 'America's Most Wanted' and a subsequent posting was put on their Web site, Parks, with the help of the FBI has been fielding numerous tips on possible sightings from across the country—Washington to Georgia, Canada to North Carolina.
"We've been running down leads non-stop," Parks said.
Some were simply prisoners in the justice system with the same name, as in the North Carolina instance. Others were just look-a-likes who didn't prove to be Andrade.
But, just last week, Parks received a faxed tip from Minnesota where a man matching Andrade's name and description had applied for a job. His potential employer was performing an online search when he came across the 'America's Most Wanted' site, Parks said.
Parks said he'll ask the FBI to follow up on that lead. If Andrade did indeed cross the border again, it would make their search much easier, Parks conceded.
"He is known to be a transient person," Parks said.
"We will keep on hunting him until he comes back to Lapeer County to face justice."
Andrade was allegedly driving at a high rate of speed when he collided with another car at Newark and Lake Pleasant roads in Attica Twp. Woodward, one of four passengers in the car, died as a result of the injuries she sustained.
Andrade fled from the hospital before police could take him into custody. He was considered an Imlay City resident at the time of the crash and had entered this country illegally.
He's described as 5'7", 235 lbs, with brown hair and blue eyes.
Anyone with information about Andrade's whereabouts is asked to contact Parks at (810) 245-1381.