COOK COUNTY, IL (The Chicago Tribune) – A former Southwest Side auto mechanic who eluded authorities for nearly two decades after jumping bail in a sex assault case was ordered held Thursday without bond.
Fidel Urbina, 41, was flown back to Chicago this week after his capture in Mexico in September in a tiny village in a remote part of the border state of Chihuahua.
In court Thursday, Cook County prosecutors outlined the brutal details of Urbina’s alleged crimes before he fled the U.S. in 1998.
Assistant State’s Attorney Craig Taczy said Urbina had offered a ride home to a woman who worked in a tavern in March 1998 but instead forced her into a car at knifepoint and repeatedly raped her — first in the car and then in an apartment. She escaped and called police after the attacker fell asleep.
Urbina was arrested on charges of aggravated criminal sexual assault, but he was freed from Cook County Jail after posting 10 percent of the $70,000 bond, according to court records.
In October 1998, while that case was still pending, Gabriella Torres brought her car to be repaired at the garage where Urbina worked, according to Chicago police.
The next day, police found a 1990 Chevrolet Lumina on fire in an alley in the 2300 block of West 50th Street, prosecutors said.
Inside the trunk, they found Torres’ body, bound with wire and duct tape and severely burned, Taczy said. Nearby was Torres’ car, a 1985 Oldsmobile. Prosecutors said fingerprints matching Urbina’s were found in or on her car. In addition, semen found in Torres’ body matched Urbina’s DNA profile, prosecutors said.
Torres’ death was ruled a homicide by strangulation and blunt force trauma.
Two people had been seen fleeing the burning Lumina. They later were arrested and pleaded guilty to arson, prosecutors said.
Urbina had asked the two to help burn a car, prosecutors said, and they had seen him douse the Lumina with gasoline, helped him push it into an alley and watched him set it ablaze.
Urbina also had told another person that he had “killed a lady” and needed help moving a dead body that he had at the garage, prosecutors said.
A few days after the killing, Urbina missed a scheduled court date in the pending assault case, prosecutors said, and authorities learned he had fled the country.
On Thursday, Judge James Brown ordered Urbina held without bail.
“There is no doubt in this court’s mind that an order of no bail is absolutely appropriate in this case,” the judge said.
Urbina was added to the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list in 2012, and his case was profiled on the “America’s Most Wanted” television show.