How this Mexican became the Only Woman on FBI’s 10 Most Wanted Fugitives List

Brenda Delgado, wanted on a capital murder charge, was the only woman on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list (and the ninth woman since the FBI created the List in 1950). The 33-year-old jilted lover was, however, arrested on April 8 by the Mexican authorities for orchestrating a murder-for-hire plot to kill her ex-boyfriend Ricardo Paniagua’s new girlfriend.

Delgado was on the run for over six months after killing Kendra Hatcher, a popular pediatric dentist in Dallas, last September; apparently Delgado was jealous that Hatcher was dating Paniagua, a dermatologist.

According to the FBI’s website:

Brenda Delgado was wanted for capital murder in Dallas, Texas. On September 2, 2015, a prominent 35-year-old dentist was shot to death in the parking garage of her apartment complex. Delgado allegedly orchestrated the murder-for-hire plot. It is believed she was jealous because the victim was dating Delgado’s ex-boyfriend and had recently been introduced to his parents.

The FBI says Delgado, who was studying to be a dental hygienist, hired two accomplices to carry out the murder. Authorities say Delgado told one of her accomplices that she was connected with a cartel, and could provide him with a steady source of drugs if he pulled the trigger and committed the murder.

Hatcher and Paniagua
Hatcher and Paniagua

Thomas M. Class, Sr., special agent in charge of the FBI’s Dallas Division, said in a statement, “Brenda Delgado was able to effectively manipulate everyone she involved in her calculated scheme. Although she didn’t pull the trigger herself, she is still responsible for the murder.”

According to court records, Kristopher Love, 32, was the hit man, while Crystal Cortes, 21, was the getaway driver in Hatcher’s slaying. Public records show Love had previously been convicted in Tennessee of aggravated assault, aggravated robbery and burglary of a residence. Cortes, on the other hand, was paid $500 to drive Love to attack Hatcher, but she claims she believed it was only going to be a robbery. Both Love and Cortes are behind bars, facing capital murder charges.

According to police affidavits, Dallas police questioned and released Delgado on September 4, two days after the killing, even after she admitted lending the Jeep used in the crime to Cortes. Based on witness statements and cell phone records, detectives secured an arrest warrant for Delgado and Love on October 2. While Love was arrested, Delgado had fled the country. The FBI had offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to her arrest.

“[An arrest] wasn’t called for at that point. That was very early in the investigation, and we were still sorting things out… The cost of putting Delgado under 24-hour surveillance for a month would have been exorbitant. Even if we had put surveillance on her and she decided to go to Mexico, we wouldn’t have had probable cause to stop her. We got the [arrest] warrant as soon as we had probable cause,” a Dallas police officer, Major Max Geron, told reporters.

Delgado is currently in a Mexican prison awaiting extradition to the US. “We’re trying to get her extradited back here. In order for us to do that, one of the conditions was the death penalty had to be off the table. She’s still charged with capital murder, which carries a life sentence,” Dallas County District Attorney Susan Hawk told CNN affiliate KTVT.

 

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