Man arrested in 1992 Philly slaying

Fugitive Santiago Pedroso has been charged with a 1992 murder in Philadelphia. (Philadelphia District Attorney's Office)
  • Police have been searching for Santiago Pedroso for more than 20 years.
  • He was apprehended in the Philippines in connection with a 1992 slaying in Philadelphia.
  • Pedroso was detained after going to the embassy to renew an expired U.S. passport.

A man has been apprehended in the Philippines in connection with a 1992 slaying in Philadelphia.

Investigators had been searching for more than 20 years for 71-year-old Santiago Pedroso, charged in the June, 21, 1992 killing of Delores Alvarez in Philadelphia.

The FBI said this morning that Pedroso was taken into custody earlier this month outside the U.S. Embassy in Manila. He was deported to the United States and handed over to Philadelphia authorities on Thursday.

The District Attorney's Office said Pedroso was arraigned overnight and is being held without bail.

Alvarez, 41, was gunned down at the Hathaway Inn in Germantown, just after ordering a meal, according to a 1992 Inquirer account.

Detectives said at the time that Pedroso was a "spiritualist" and owner of a Hunting Park religious-goods store who killed Alvarez out of jealousy, because his estranged wife was living with her.

Alvarez worked for Hughes Aircraft Corp. in California and became friends with Maria Gomez, Pedroso's wife, after she arrived in Philadelphia shortly before her death.

The night she was killed, Pedroso and his daughter had eaten dinner together at the Inn, the Inquirer reported. As the pair was leaving, they saw Alvarez and Gomez enter.

Pedroso left his daughter and returned a few minutes later, armed with a handgun.

He fired four bullets into Alvarez's head, and one more into her body.

Pedroso walked out of the restaurant. A warrant was issued for his arrest the next day.

But he remained on the run for the next 20 years.

"We've tracked him all over the world," Jerrold Kane, a Philadelphia police homicide inspector, told the Inquirer in 1996. "We had him in Spain, in Mexico City. When they have resources, they're a little harder to track."

The previous year, a real estate agent discovered a human skull, demonic figures on walls, an altar and animal bones in the Germantown house Pedroso owned before he fled.

He eventually made his way to the Philippines, slipping into the country in December 1996 after absconding from a cruise ship, according to the country's Bureau of Immigration.

The bureau said Pedroso was detained Sept. 9 when he went to the embassy to renew an expired U.S. passport.

The FBI had been seeking him on a federal unlawful flight to avoid persecution warrant, but officials said today that offense is expected to be dismissed so he can be prosecuted on the murder charge.

He next appears in court on Oct. 9.

Contact Emily Babay at 215-854-2153 or Follow @emilybabay on Twitter.

Contact the Breaking News Desk at 215-854-2443 or Follow @phillynews on Twitter.

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