Suspect charged after escape try

Former Daly City resident Carlos Maldonado, who tried to escape police custody by jumping off a 25-foot railing at San Francisco International Airport during his recent extradition from Florida, was charged Tuesday with the 2001 murder of a Westmoor High School freshman, police said.

Maldonado, who is recovering at San Francisco General Hospital from injuries that were not life-threatening, was arraigned and booked at San Mateo County jail, according to Daly City police.

Maldonado is suspected of killing 15-year-old Quetzalcoatl Alba, whose body was found six years ago in the carport area of the Westlake Apartments in Daly City.

Police questioned Maldonado and Erick Morales, then 16 — both undocumented illegal aliens and Guatemala natives — as the last people seen with the victim before his stabbing death. Both denied any involvement in the murder, and their shared Daly City residence was not searched. They then disappeared, police said.

“We are still trying to develop the motive,” said Lt. Jay Morena of the Detective Division of Daly City Police. “There was some notion of jealousy of an ex-girlfriend.”

Detectives asked FBI and Guatemalan authorities to help search for the fugitives in Guatemala, where they were believed to be were hiding. Last week, police received a tip that Maldonado was living in Florida under an assumed name and that the murder weapon was buried in the backyard of his former Daly City residence, according to police.

Detectives found the murder weapon and tracked down Maldonado in Miami.

At 2 a.m. Saturday, officers brought Maldonado to SFO, where he escaped custody. Handcuffed, Maldonado ran across a road and hurled himself down to the pavement on the arrival level.

Detectives have not found Morales, who is presumed to be using an assumed identity. Anyone with information is asked to contact Daly City police at (650) 991-8172.

svasilyuk@examiner.com

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