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Hollister 2014 murder suspect arrested in Mexico after years on the run

Suspect arrested four years after Hollister murder

HOLLISTER, Calif. - A man considered armed and dangerous after killing a teen in Hollister back in 2014 is now in custody. 

On July 12, Hollister detectives were notified by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents that Jose Barajas had been located and arrested in Guadalajara, Mexico. 

Jose Barajas is accused of fatally shooting 18-year-old Ariana Zendejas on August 1, 2014. 

Zendejas was shot in the area of West and B Streets and later died at Hazel Hawkins Hospital. 

After the murder, Barajas allegedly kidnapped Zendejas friend, his ex-girlfriend, Vanessa Flores and went to Mexico. Six months later Flores was identified by U.S. Border Patrol agents as she crossed the border from Tijuana. 

A $25,000 reward was offered for information leading police to Barajas' arrest and conviction. 

"In 2017, Hollister Police detectives learned specific and actionable information regarding the whereabouts of Barajas in Mexico, which they passed to the FBI. In January of 2018, HPD detectives and FBI agents confirmed that information through multiple local sources and sources abroad. That information led the FBI and Mexican law enforcement to a specific house in Guadalajara, Mexico. Several surveillance operations were initiated to confirm Barajas was at that location. A morning raid on July 12 by Mexican law enforcement and immigration authorities was organized and ultimately led to Barajas' capture," said Detective B. Leland. 

Bajaras was detained by Mexican law enforcement and was flown to the United States. 

KION's Zach Fuentes will have more at 5 and 6 p.m. 


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