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Man awaits extradition from North Carolina in woman's 1999 slaying in Stafford

SUGAR LAND, Texas – A man has been arrested and is awaiting extradition from North Carolina in a nearly 20-year-old case from Stafford, according to investigators.

Around 7 a.m. on Oct. 13, 1999, Stafford police said Rosa Liberato was found dead in her vehicle by a co-worker at Aramark at 10110 Cash Rd. Liberato, 46, was shot to death, according to police.

Investigators said Apolinar Tejeda was identified as the main suspect in Liberato's shooting death and a warrant was issued for his arrest in 2004, but officials said Tejada fled the Houston area.

An undated photo of Rosa Liberato.
An undated photo of Rosa Liberato.

Authorities said Tejada, now 66, was traveling around the United States and Mexico using various identities in order to avoid being captured by law enforcement officials.

"Cold case is a cliche. It's never really a cool case. There's just the case that take a little bit longer to solve," Officer A.J. Tyler, of the Stafford Police Department, said. "It's always great when you can get your person and get your guy in custody and provide that closure for the family. Whether it takes 20 minutes, 20 days or 20 years. We're going to catch you. We're going to find you. You can change your name. You can't change who you are. You can't change what you did."

New information surfaced this month, leading authorities to Tejada in North Carolina, according to investigators. He was arrested on Aug. 14 and is awaiting extradition to Fort Bend County, officials said.