Fugitive ex-LAPD officer was shuffled between family members' homes in Mexico, FBI says

POMONA, Calif. (KABC) -- Former U.S. Marine and Los Angeles Police Department officer Henry Solis was moved between family members' homes in Mexico, avoiding cellphones and social media to avoid detection, the FBI said Wednesday.

Solis was captured by Mexican authorities while hiding out in the border city of Ciudad Juarez Tuesday and has since been handed over to the FBI in El Paso.

He made his first appearance before a judge early Wednesday, reportedly before the courts even opened. Details about that appearance are limited, but the suspect is facing charges for murder and unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, FBI officials said.

Solis, 27, had been on the run since March 13 after allegedly fatally shooting 23-year-old Salome Rodriguez in the area of 3rd and Main streets in Pomona.

Henry Solis (left) was arrested in Mexico Tuesday, May 26, 2015 in connection to the murder of 23-year-old Salome Rodriguez Jr. (right).



Solis' father, Victor, was arrested on March 26 for allegedly lying to the FBI after helping his son cross the border to Ciudad Juarez. Surveillance video obtained from the border crossing shows Henry and Victor Solis both crossing the border at about 5:40 a.m. on March 14.

The FBI uncovered a key clue over the weekend about Solis' location.

"I received information. I am not telling you that the information came from somebody specifically, but I received new information," FBI Special Agent Scott Garriola said.

Garriola said the former cop had been living with relatives in Juarez and that his background as a former Marine and trained police officer helped him avoid capture.

"We used every tool, every tool that you could imagine. As we say in the trade, he was laying pretty low. What I mean by that is you don't go out frequently, you don't communicate various means," Garriola said.

Solis' capture was welcomed by the victim's family.

"I'm ready to see him the first day. I want him to see me and know that I'm his mother," Rodriguez's mother, Lidia, told Eyewitness News.

The victim's family held a prayer vigil Tuesday night in Pomona. It was an emotional night for the victim's father, Salome Rodriguez Sr., who said the arrest signifies justice for his family.

Lidia Rodriguez thanked the community for their support.

"I thank you from my son, Jr., because I know he would be having a smile right now, showing that, 'see mom, there's miracles,'" she said.

Solis is being held in El Paso, while awaiting extradition to California.

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said he was "pleased that Mr. Solis is now in custody and will be held accountable for his actions."

"We appreciate the diligence and perseverance our partners at the Pomona Police Department and the FBI demonstrated in pursuing this case," Beck said.

Victor Solis was released from custody on May 21 after posting $10,000 bond.

U.S. District Judge Philip Martinez ordered that he not return to California, but instead reside with relatives in San Elizario, Texas, which is located just outside of El Paso, while pending trial. His trial is set to begin on June 3.

Anyone with additional information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact the Pomona Police Department at (909) 620-2085.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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