UPDATE: Man sought in October fatal crash arrested

By: KAKE News Email
By: KAKE News Email
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WICHITA, Kan. -- A man sought in connection to a fatal crash in October is behind bars.

Javier Rizo, 22, was taken into custody Sunday morning in the 900 block of North Country Acres. Officers learned of his location through a Crime Stoppers tip.

He was believed to be involved in a high speed chase and crash that killed 34-year-old Maria Martinez.

Around 2 a.m. on Sunday, October 27, officers received a report that Rizo, who is a suspect in a 2007 murder case, was in the Old Town area. When police spotted a van matching the description, they tried to pull it over.

Instead, the driver sped away and led officers on a pursuit. Police said the van reached speeds between 60 and 70 miles per hour, and a supervisor decided to call off the chase although the police helicopter continued to follow.

Two minutes later and about a mile and a half away, a collision was reported near 24th and Arkansas. Police said the van collided with another car in the intersection. Two people in the van, a 22-year-old man and a 22-year-old woman, were injured.

In the other car, Maria Martinez, who was driving, was taken to a local hospital in critical condition where she later died. Her 39-year-old husband was a passenger in the car, but was not seriously hurt.

Police said they believe that Rizo was driving the van. Rizo was already being sought on Sedgwick County warrants for first degree murder, DUI and flee and elude.

The murder warrant is in connection to the May 2007 death of Gonzalo Gomez. Booking information from the Sedgwick County Jail says Rizo is being held on numerous charges including flee and elude, DUI, domestic battery, and 2nd degree murder.

Rizo was booked into jail for second degree murder and vehicular homicide. Formal charges could be filed later this week.


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