Last updated: June 11. 2014 12:09AM - 556 Views
By - smocarsky@civitasmedia.com

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SCRANTON — A man accused of strangling a Hazleton woman and hiding her dead body in an attic has been extradited from Mexico to face murder charges.

U.S. Marshal Martin J. Pane announced Tuesday that the U.S. Marshals Service has extradited Oscar Lozano-Garcia from Puebla, Mexico, approximately 85 miles southeast of Mexico City. He was tracked to Puebla City and arrested there without significant incident on Jan. 27.

Police had been looking for Garcia, 36, since December 2012, when they discovered the plastic-wrapped body of his girlfriend, 32-year-old Maria Brea in the attic of the apartment at 343 E. Diamond Ave., Hazleton, that Brea once shared with her alleged assailant.

The attic door was padlocked shut, with tape covering its seams. The Luzerne County Coroner’s Office performed an autopsy and determined the cause of death to be asphyxiation due to strangulation and the manner of death as homicide.

On Jan. 23, 2013, District Judge Joseph D. Zola in Hazleton issued an arrest warrant charging Lozano-Garcia with criminal homicide and related offenses.

At the request of the local authorities, the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force in the Middle District of Pennsylvania began investigating the whereabouts of Lozano-Garcia. U.S. Marshals developed information indicating he had fled to Mexico, and coordinated an international investigation to locate him.

Following his arrest, Lozano-Garcia was held at the Instituto Penal Oriente in Mexico City, pending court proceedings related to his extradition to Pennsylvania.

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