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It’s Been a Year And Zoey Zane’s Killer has Still Not Been brought to Justice

It was a year ago this week that Zoey Zane aka Emily Sander, an internet web model, met her gruesome end in a motel room in Kansas. Her assailant fled to Mexico, and authorities are still dicking around with the case.

Kansas- Nearly a year after being arrested in Mexico following allegations of his involvement in the murder of a Butler Community College student in November 2007, Israel “Izzy” Mireles remains in the custody of Mexican authorities awaiting extradition to Kansas.

The former Hays resident was arrested last December after leaving the country with his girlfriend, Victoria Martens.

At the time, Mireles had been the prime suspect in connection with the death of 18-year-old Sander of El Dorado.

He was later charged in Butler County with the murder, rape and sodomy of the victim and had charges filed in Ellis County of aggravated indecent liberties with a child for the impregnation of Martens, who was 15 at the time of conception.

The Kansas Attorney General’s office is assisting with the homicide case and spokeswoman Ashley Anstaett said Mireles’ lengthy stay in Mexico is a regular part of the extradition process.

One early hurdle Kansas prosecutors had to jump was amending its murder case from one seeking to death penalty to a slightly subdued sentence of life in prison, as the Mexican government will not extradite individuals facing death.

According to Assistant Attorney General Barry Disney, the last thing his office is waiting on is resolution of Mireles’ appeal against extradition.

Disney said the Mexican government has said it will send Mireles back, but their courts must approve that decision.

He said he did not believe Mireles would win his appeal.

“I have no reason to believe the extradition won’t take place,” he said.

The appeal process began in June, Disney said, and typically takes four to six months to resolve.

He said he hoped progress would be made in the situation by the end of the year.

After identifying Mireles as the man last seen with Sander before her disappearance last November, local, state and federal authorities conducted an exhaustive hunt for the victim and her accused murderer.

A search of Mireles’ room at the El Dorado Hotel, where he had been living, revealed blood inside, the Associated Press reported last year.

Disney could not comment on the amount of blood or whether the blood belonged to the victim.

Sander’s body eventually was found six days later along a stretch of U.S. Highway 54, about 50 miles east of El Dorado near Toronto.

It is believed that Mireles drove that expanse of road in the days following Sander’s disappearance on his way to Baxter Springs to pick up Martens, who had been visiting family for Thanksgiving.

Mireles’ rental car was later found abandoned in Vernon, Texas, where he had family, and the search expanded south of the U.S. border.

He was apprehended the next month in Melchor-Muzquiz, Mexico, at the home of a relative.


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