WARREN, Ohio (WYTV) – A Newton Falls murder suspect who fled to Brazil after the shooting death of her husband has been arrested by Brazilian authorities, according to a news release from Congressman Tim Ryan’s office.
The United States Ambassador to Brazil Liliana Ayalde in a phone call notified Congressman Ryan on Wednesday that Claudia Hoerig is in custody.
On Tuesday, Brazil’s Supreme Court justices ruled by a majority of three to two to uphold the Brazilian Ministry of Justice’s administrative decision that had revoked Claudia Hoerig’s Brazilian citizenship, allowing extradition procedures to move forward. Ryan said the arrest warrant was issued as a consequence of Tuesday’s ruling and as part of the extradition process to the U.S.
On April 8, Trumbull County Prosecutor Dennis Watkins called on the FBI to add Claudia Hoerig’s name to its Most Wanted Fugitive’s list and to offer a $100,000 reward for her arrest. Wednesday, Watkins said that if the Brazilian government follows through on the ruling, Hoerig could be back in the United States within matter of weeks.
Hoerig, a Brazilian native, is wanted in connection to the murder of her husband, Major Karl Hoerig at his home in Newton Falls back on March 12, 2007. Watkins says Claudia, an American citizen, shot and killed Karl before escaping to Brazil, where she has been given sanctuary from arrest and prosecution in the United States.
Watkins remains cautiously optimistic that Claudia Hoerig will return to the United States, where she can be tried for the alleged crime.
“Until I see her brought into a courtroom by Trumbull County Sheriff’s deputies, and that would be Courtroom Number One to be arraigned and stand trial, I will have some concern,” he said.
In a previous letter to FBI Special Agent Todd Werth, Watkins wrote that President Barack Obama and various branches of the national government needs to push forward, going on to say it makes no sense to maintain a one-sided extradition treaty with Brazil.
He also wrote that he had a conversation with Karl Hoerig’s father, Ed, who is in his 70s and fears he will not see justice for his son’s murder.
Watkins said, right now, it is all up to Brazil.