U.S. Court Interpreter Killed in Mexico After Being Held for Ransom
(FOXNEWS) A Texas court interpreter who was kidnapped this month was found dead in Mexico after relatives failed to pay a $10,000 ransom, authorities said.
Jorge Luis Dieppa, who worked as a Spanish interpreter at the U.S. District Court’s El Paso Division since 2004, also worked as a part-time lecturer in the languages and linguistics department at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), according to a school spokeswoman.
Dieppa, 57, disappeared on July 5 in an apparent kidnapping and was found dead in Ciudad Juarez a day later, after relatives were unable to produce $10,000 ransom, according to news releases from the Chihuahua state prosecutor’s office. He was discovered stabbed repeatedly and bound with duct tape, according to the releases, which did not identify Dieppa by name.
Federal sources in San Antonio confirmed Dieppa’s identity and said FBI authorities in El Paso had been contacted to investigate the case since Dieppa was a U.S. citizen.
“Anytime that we lose someone, it’s a tragedy to the family and to the court family,” Judge Fred Biery of the Western District told FoxNews.com. “We’re truly like a family within the court system.”
Biery said Dieppa was a loyal and dedicated employee who is survived by a wife and two sons, ages 21 and 14.
Special Agent Michael Martinez, a spokesman for the FBI’s El Paso Division, declined to comment on the ongoing investigation.
“The FBI will not release a comment on this ongoing investigation,” Martinez told FoxNews.com on Thursday.
Dieppa’s kidnapping and violent death are not believed to be related to his status as a federal employee, and court officials had been told he crossed the border into Mexico to have work done on his car, the San Antonio Express-News reports.
Three people have been arrested in connection to Dieppa’s death, according to a news release from the Chihuahua state prosecutor’s office. The suspects were identified as Lisbeth “La Liz” Nayeli Rodriguez Alanis, 22; Víctor Alfonso “El Gordo” Cano Molina, 24; and Antonio Tarango Montes, 60. An additional suspect is being sought.
Rodriguez Alanis and Cano Molina, who were wanted by the office’s kidnapping unit, were arrested Tuesday by state authorities responding to a fight in Ciudad Juarez. Tarango Montes was arrested later that evening.
The suspects allegedly decided to kill Dieppa because he recognized Rodriguez Alanis, an exotic dancer with whom he had a five-year relationship. Dieppa met the woman at a bar where she worked as a dancer, according to the news release.
Mexican news outlet Puente Libre reports that Rodriguez Alanis and her accomplices decided to kidnap Dieppa after learning he taught college courses in El Paso.
Dieppa, according to his faculty website at UTEP, was also a member of the El Paso Interpreters and Translators Association. He also previously worked as an interpreter for the Texas Workforce Commission.
“I loved him deeply,” a woman who answered the phone at Dieppa’s El Paso home told FoxNews.com. She declined further comment.
Dieppa also worked as a sword instructor at El Paso’s Hsin Lu Tao Academy of Martial Arts, which, in a statement to FoxNews.com, characterized him as an “unfailingly polite” man.
“Jorge was also singularly dedicated to the art that he loved so deeply and spent so much time teaching,” the statement read. “That such an end should befall him is profoundly upsetting to us. Nonetheless, we are honored to have known him, to have worked with him, and to have loved him. ‘Domo Arigato Gozamashita, Sensei.’ Our final bow … we close your class.”