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Texas most wanted fugitive captured after nearly 10 years on the run

A woman who has been wanted for nearly 10 years for allegedly sexually exploiting an 11-year-old girl has been captured in Mexico.
Texas most wanted fugitive captured after nearly 10 years on the run
Posted at 5:10 PM, Jan 16, 2024

A woman who has been on the run from authorities for nearly a decade, landing herself on Texas' 10 Most Wanted list, has been arrested in the Mexican state of Jalisco, authorities said.

Iris Iliana Rodriguez had been missing since January 2015, when arrest warrants stemming from the former counselor's "inappropriate relationship" with an 11-year-old girl were first issued by Texas authorities.

INTERPOL Mexico took the 34-year-old into custody Dec. 11 on the warrant charges, which include three counts of indecency with a child by sexual contact, three counts of harassment and one count of unlawful restraint, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) said Friday.

DPS said Rodriguez made initial contact with the minor while working as a counselor for a Child, Adolescent and Parent Services (CAPS) program in Laredo, Texas. She is accused of then gaining employment at a behavioral health center in the city that allowed her to visit the victim at school under the pretext that she, as a CAPS counselor, was "offering guidance and support for the child."

DPS said it received a tip that led to the development of an arrest plan for Rodriguez, in coordination with Criminal Investigations Special Agents from Laredo and the U.S. Marshals Service in Mexico. 

That tip information came through Texas Crime Stoppers, which offers cash rewards to tipsters whose information leads to the arrest of one of Texas' 10 Most Wanted Fugitives or Sex Offenders. A bulletin with Rodriguez's details notes there was an "Up To $5,000 Reward" for her capture, but it has since been crossed out.

In 2023, DPS and other agencies paid $115,000 in rewards to people whose tips led to arrests.

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