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Idaho man fled after allegedly killing his wife in Wilder in 2015. Now he’s in custody

Crime Watch

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CALDWELL (Idaho Statesman) – After a multi-year search, authorities have arrested a former Idaho man accused of killing his wife in Canyon County in 2015 before fleeing the country.

Erasmo Diaz was arrested in Mexico on Saturday by Mexico Federal Police and members of the U.S. Marshals Service, according to a Monday morning news release from Canyon County.

The arrest ends a six-year manhunt. Diaz has been wanted since the June 11, 2015, killing of 39-year-old Amparo Godinez Sanchez in Wilder. Police say Diaz shot Godinez in front of their children.

At a news conference Monday afternoon, Canyon County Sheriff Kieran Donahue and other members of local and federal law enforcement provided what details they could regarding Diaz’s arrest.

Donahue said he was notified Saturday morning that federal police in Mexico arrested Diaz in an undisclosed part of the country.

“This has been a tremendously long team effort,” Donahue said.

According to Statesman archives, Diaz fled the state after his wife’s death and abandoned his car roughly 12 miles away in Adrian, Oregon. Police actively sought Diaz ever since — a warrant for his arrest in the killing was issued in 2015.

Donahue said Diaz was able to slip through the net cast by law enforcement and escape to Mexico. In addition to collaboration among local, state and federal authorities in Idaho, law enforcement worked with the government of Mexico with the help of Sen. Jim Risch, Donahue said.

Though there is no timetable for Diaz’s extradition, Canyon County Prosecuting Attorney Bryan Taylor said that as of Monday, Diaz will face a count of second-degree murder and will be held on a no-bail warrant.

“Once we get Mr. Diaz back into the state of Idaho, he will be prosecuted to the fullest extent,” Taylor said.

In 2016, Godinez’s children described her to the Statesman as a kind, humble person who was always willing to help others. She was the heart of their family, and her children described their worry over Diaz being on the run.

“I don’t really think we’ve been given that chance to really grieve for her because, right now, we’re so afraid that he is still out there,” said Laura Diaz in 2016.

Laura and her sister, Judy Diaz, have become advocates for survivors of domestic violence.

After hearing the family’s story, Democratic Rep. Melissa Wintrow proposed a bill in 2018 that would block anyone convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence against a spouse or partner from owning guns for two years. The proposed bill would have reflected a federal law.

However, the bill failed to pass the Republican-dominated Idaho House.

Erasmo Diaz had a history of violence against his family before his wife’s killing. After assaulting Godinez in 2008 — he hit her during an argument and threatened to shoot members of his family — Erasmo Diaz pleaded three felony charges down to misdemeanors.

After serving a 90-day jail sentence and completing a year of probation, he successfully petitioned the court to regain control of three handguns that were seized after his arrest. Because Idaho did not have a law in place, Erasmo Diaz was able to get the guns back.