Man, Accused of Killing Grandmother, Caught in Mexico


Los Angeles, CA—Even though he had attempted to flee to Mexico, a man who allegedly killed his grandmother was captured earlier this week.

The 25-year-old, Joseph Elias George Ettima, was brought back to Los Angeles and will face charges in the killing. He is also accused of setting the woman’s body on fire in an attempt to cover up the crime.

Police have not released the cause of death, but some sources say that Emma Hardwick-Street, 69, was stabbed to death by Ettima. Two children, an 8-year-old boy and 3-year-old girl, are reported to have witnessed the killing. The boy was Ettima’s younger brother.

After the murder but before fleeing the scene, Ettima set fire to Hardwick-Street’s home in Los Alamitos, CA. Twelve people were displaced from the apartment building where the woman lived because of the fire, authorities say.

Federal authorities put Ettima on their 15 Most Wanted fugitives list in February after Los Alamitos police asked for help from the U.S. Marshals Service. Mexican police also assisted in the search for the accused man, arresting him in the Mexican state of Chiapas. He had no identification on him and appeared to be homeless. Upon his arrest, Ettias claimed to be from first Belize, then from Nigeria. Using information from the Marshals Service, however, Mexican authorities were able to successfully identify him as the man wanted in the California murder and arson case.

Ettima apparently had a criminal record, which includes robbery, manufacturing of weapons, weapons possession and indecent exposure. He had recently been paroled from prison, and will now face parole violations, child endangerment and robbery charges in addition to homicide and arson charges.

John F. Clark, director of the U.S. Marshals Service, said in a statement that Ettima “has a long history of violence, and his latest crime demonstrates a callous disregard for human life that is unimaginable. Capturing him was one of our highest priorities.”

The statement also said that “the crime is particularly heinous in that two young children were in the home at the time of the murder and witnessed the event.”

Over 100,000 fugitives accused of felonies in the United States were captured by the Marshals task forces last year. Nine of these were offenders from the 15 Most Wanted List, and four were arrested in Mexico.


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