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Whitestone fugitive returned to New York

By Madina Toure

Luis Zambrano, a Whitestone resident who was arrested in Virginia last month in connection with the death of his girlfriend, a Queens Village mother, has been returned to New York, a spokeswoman for Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.

The body of Angie Escobar, 28, was found in the trunk of her father’s car, which Zambrano, 30, was last seen driving Sept. 10 at about 8:36 p.m., according to the NYPD.

Zambrano was arrested in Daleville, Va., Sept. 18 and charged with being a fugitive from justice because he was wanted in a different state, police said.

The Queens DA’s spokeswoman said she does not have the exact date of Zambrano’s return to New York and that he was being held on a parole violation.

A complaint is not yet available given that the investigation into Escobar’s death is ongoing, the spokeswoman said.

Delbert Dudding, Botetourt County’s deputy chief, said Zambrano went before the magistrate the day he was arrested and was arraigned before the judge that afternoon.

At that time, he waived extradition, Dudding said.

Zambrano was transferred for extradition Sept. 25 and they were waiting for authorities from New York to pick him up, he explained.

“We haven’t had him since Sept. 25,” he said.

In an interview with TimesLedger Oct. 14, Thomas Conforti, commanding officer of the 109th Precinct, said Zambrano was supposed to come back to New York the previous week but there were some issues due to the fact that he was on parole.

Conforti said Zambrano had rights in Virginia since he was arrested there and that he had to go before a judge.

If he chose not to consent, there would have to have been a hearing, he said at the time.

“He’ll eventually be tried here (New York),” he said.

Police responded to a call of a suspicious 2004 Nissan Maxima in the vicinity of 22nd Avenue and Murray Street.

When officers arrived on the scene, they found a car with a foul odor coming from the trunk, officials said.

They discovered the body of Escobar, who was unconscious and unresponsive with stab wounds to the torso, police said, and she was pronounced dead at the scene.

A GoFundMe page set up Sept. 11 asking for donations for Escobar’s two children and her funeral arrangements had raised $20,092 from 291 people in one month as of Wednesday afternoon, over the $15,000 goal.

Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at mtoure@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4566.

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