Person of interest in teen's murder released from hospital

Jul 15, 2015 3:35 PM by News Staff

The man named a person of interest in the murder of 16-year-old Melissa Esquivel-Flores was released from the hospital Tuesday afternoon and has been booked into jail for allegedly sexually assaulting the teen back in 2013.

Esquivel-Flores was found dead near County Road D in Orland on the Fourth of July. The Glenn County Medical examiner says she was shot in the head and the investigation into her death is now focused solely on Alfredo Rodriguez Ruvalcaba, 53, according to Glenn County Sheriff Richard Warren.

Ruvalcaba is accused of molesting Esquivel-Flores in Butte County when the girl was 12 and 13-years-old. He was charged with the alleged assaults on January 31, 2013, but fled to Mexico after posting bail.

Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey says he believed Ruvalcaba was still in Mexico until July 5, when he was found in a ditch just down the street from where authorities found Esquivel-Flores' body. Sheriff Warren says it appears Ruvalcaba had been in the ditch for a day.

The extent and cause of the Ruvalcaba's injuries are unknown, but Warren says investigators are looking into the possibility he was hurt during a struggle with Esquivel-Flores. A booking photo released by the Glenn County Sheriff's Office shows what appear to be the remnants of a busted lip and bloody nose.

Following his release from a local hospital Tuesday, Ruvalcaba was booked into the Glenn County Jail on a no-bail warrant and appeared before a judge Wednesday morning. He is expected to be transferred to the Butte County Jail as soon as Wednesday afternoon.

Warren says investigators are continuing to work the homicide, but he's unsure when charges will be filed.


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