Man Arrested, Suspected In Estranged Wife's Stabbing Death

Jesus Arteaga Garcia Suspected Of Stabbing Maribel Arteaga To Death In 2009

The husband of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent was arrested in Tijuana on suspicion of stabbing her to death, it was reported Saturday.

Jesus Arteaga Garcia, 30, was sheltered by his sister and parents in Baja California since the murder of Maribel Arteaga, 28, during a domestic dispute at their Chula Vista home on Dec. 9, 2009, according to Deputy U.S. Marshal Steve Jurman.

Melissa Parra, Maribel's younger sister, told 10News she had experienced mixed emotions about the arrest.

"I started jumping with happiness and relief, but at the same time, it's bittersweet," she said.

Parra said Maribel's two young sons witnessed the stabbing.

"My nephew said, 'My dad grabbed my arm, my mom grabbed my other arm and then I saw that my daddy took out a knife and when she turned around my daddy stabbed her in the back,'" said Parra. "To this day they have nightmares: screaming, yelling [and] crying at night. They would paint their hands red and say 'This how my hands were with mommy.'"

The young mother had identified her estranged husband as the assailant just before she died, police said. He was arrested by Mexican federal police Friday, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

Chula Vista police and both U.S. and Mexican federal police tracked Arteaga Garcia to Sinaloa and then back to Tijuana, where his family reportedly told police that the young mother "got what she deserved," according to the Union-Tribune.

Parra said the couple was involved in a nasty divorce and that Maribel in the process of moving out and moving on with her life. Parra told 10News Maribel also met someone else and became pregnant, which sent Arteaga over the edge.

"He would sit in his car outside her house," said Parra.

Despite the pain she was feeling, Parra said, "We don't want anything bad for him because that's not going to bring my sister back."

Now, Parra said she focuses on her sister's sons.

"I find my strength looking at her boys because they look just like her," said Parra. "I miss her. I miss hugging her and telling her I got a good grade in class. There is a void in my heart that no one can fill."

Arteaga is in a Mexican jail waiting to be extradited, which could take several months.

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