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Fugitive Task Force Apprehends Suspected S. Fla. Murderer

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Felipe Torrealba (Source: BSO)

Felipe Torrealba (Source: BSO)

Joan-Murray-600x450 Joan Murray
CBS4 Reporter Joan Murray Joan Murray is a general assignmen...
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Fugitive Task Force

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A highly sought after fugitive, wanted for questioning in the murder of a South Florida man, has been captured by the U.S. Marshal’s Office and is now in custody in Broward County.

Felipe Torrealba was arrested in Fort Myers on Thursday.

He was on the agency’s list of 15 Most Wanted Criminals.

The wig found with Felipe Torrealba (Source U.S. Marshal's Office)

The wig found with Felipe Torrealba (Source U.S. Marshal’s Office)

Deputy U.S. Marshal Barry Golden told CBS4 News that Torrealba was found hiding inside a townhouse with two handguns, $15,000 in cash and a wig.

Outside the townhouse, a rental car was found with two sets of Texas license plates.

Golden said a tip led them to Torrealba’s location Thursday morning.

Torrealba is wanted in Broward County in connection with a murder investigation and on an outstanding warrant in Miami-Dade for shooting at police officers.

The feds say Torrealba has an extensive “rap” sheet for gun, drugs, and aggravated assault.

Torrealba has eluded capture on at least three occasions.

He fled from Sweetwater Police during a traffic stop in January by escaping into a canal after a high-speed chase that caused several accidents on Tamiami Trail.

In March, Broward Sheriff’s Detectives identified him as their prime suspect in the murder of a Weston man, Chris Smalls, who was found dead in his SUV.   Broward Detectives say Torrealba knew the victim and had rented his house.

Since that time, police say Torrealba has been on the run, utilizing an extensive network of contacts across Florida and the south to rent him cars, hotel rooms, and to support his life on the run.

Authorities say he has almost a dozen aliases.

He’s being held pending criminal charges in Florida and Texas.

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