CHICAGO -- An Illinois man who had been on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted list for allegedly killing two former girlfriends was captured in Mexico after he was profiled on a crime-fighting television program, the FBI announced Friday.
Michael Alfonso, 35, of Wheaton was arrested Thursday evening without incident in the port city of Veracruz, said Thomas Kneir, special agent in charge of the FBI's Chicago office.
He was handed over to American authorities and flown to Houston, where he will be kept until he can be extradited to Illinois, authorities said. The FBI did not know if Alfonso had an attorney Friday who could comment; he had not appeared in court.
Alfonso is accused in the 1992 slaying of Sumanear Yang, 23, of Wheaton, who authorities said was shot to death after she broke off a brief relationship with Alfonso. Her skeletal remains were discovered in a state park near the Kendall County community of Yorkville in November 1992, two months after she was reported missing.
DuPage County State's Attorney Joe Birkett said Alfonso was under investigation in Yang's slaying when he allegedly killed Genoveva Velasquez, 28, of Wheaton in June 2001. Velasquez was shot five times outside a restaurant where she worked.
Authorities in Kendall and DuPage counties said Friday they plan to seek the death penalty. He is charged with murder in both counties.
Alfonso, a registered sex offender in Illinois who legally changed his name from Michael Alfonso Johnson after Yang's disappearance, was placed on the FBI's most wanted list last year.
Kneir said a man watching a profile of the case on "America's Most Wanted" recognized Alfonso and went to the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City saying, "You know, I know this guy."
U.S. Ambassador Tony Garza praised Mexican officials Friday for arresting and quickly deporting Alfonso.
"This success is another example of how close cooperation on law enforcement between the United States and Mexico yields results that make both countries safer," Garza said.
Mexico's Attorney General's Office said federal police used "field and investigative work" to catch Alfonso and decided to deport him after determining he had entered the country illegally using a fake, non-U.S. passport.
When he was confronted in Veracruz, Alfonso, who speaks fluent Spanish, told police he was Cuban and gave his name as Adolfo Ruiz Perez. However, a scar and a tattoo on his shoulder matched the description of Alfonso, Mexican authorities said.
The television viewer who reported Alphonso is expected to receive the $50,000 reward the FBI offered for information leading to the arrest, Kneir said.
The FBI's most wanted list was established in 1950. Since then, 478 fugitives have been added to the list and 448 of whom have been arrested or located. According to the FBI, with Alfonso, 810 fugitives profiled on the television program have been captured. Alfonso's case was profiled on the program seven times.