Fugitive with township ties captured

By By BEN RAYMOND LODE / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- A 14-month investigation involving Niles Township Police officers and several other law enforcement agencies across the country ended with the arrest of a man in Los Angeles on Monday.
Jorge Duran, wanted in Nassau County, New York, on a two-count sexual child abuse warrant, and charged with using a false identity in Michigan, was arrested when the U.S. Marshal Service in the Los Angeles area raided the home where Duran was currently staying, said Chief John Street, Niles Township Police, in a press release issued on Tuesday.
Duran has been on the run since July 16, 2002, when he fled from the Berrien County Courthouse while awaiting a custody hearing involving his three-year-old daughter, who had been allegedly neglected by her mother.
The couple lived in Niles Township last summer when a neighbor living close to the couple alerted police that the three-year-old was trapped in a bedroom from which she was unable to exit.
Duran fled the hearing upon learning that law enforcement agents were aware of his use of a false identity and were getting ready to apprehend him at the courthouse.
Street began the initial investigation of Duran, who was using the identity of David Pineda -- an Ohio man who had his identity stolen in 1995.
Over the last 14 months, Street said he has traced Duran all over the country and into Mexico as Duran has spent traveler's checks.
Street said law enforcement agencies were often just one step behind Duran and were close to finding the fugitive when he stayed in a small town just outside of the well-known tourist resort of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
Street said Duran probably chose the small town because of the many tourists visiting the area, which made it easy for him to remain unnoticed.
Having lived with the investigation for more than a year, Street was glad, but surprised to learn of Duran's arrest.
Street, however, feels sorry for the Ohio man who has had to deal with identity theft, which is becoming an increasing problem.
He said the real Pineda's credit record has been ruined. "Duran has made Pineda's life a living hell," Street said.
Street said the Nassau County Police have started extraction on Duran, who will face the sexual abuse charges when he returns to New York.
When he has completed his sentence in New York, Duran will be brought back to Michigan where he will face charges of using a false identity, Street said.
Street, on behalf of the law enforcement agencies that have been involved with the investigation, is glad that Duran, an alleged child molester, is off the streets because they (child molesters) are "the worst kind."

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Berrien County reports three new COVID-19 deaths

Dowagiac

Patrick Hamilton Elementary School closes for three days due to COVID-19

Dowagiac

Don, Joan Lyons donate $28,000 to Dowagiac Union Schools

Buchanan

Registration open for YMCA’s 39th annual Thanksgiving Day Run

Dowagiac

Dowagiac schools receive positive audit

News

Niles Township passes sewage increase

Business

Four Flags Antique Mall acquires new owners

Dowagiac

14th annual Sandhill Crane All Trail Race draws record numbers

Cass County

Woman in stable condition following Sunday shooting

Cass County

Suspect pleads guilty in Dowagiac murder case

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: COVID-19 cases continue to rise in southwest Michigan

Cass County

Lewis Cass ISD Parents as Teachers program receives national recognition

Dowagiac

Sister Lakes Brewing Company hosts Dewey Lake Monster conference

Giving

Chili cook-off benefited displaced veterans through chow, competition and charity

Cass County

Cass County seeks volunteers for boards, committees

Berrien County

Operation Safe Stop runs this week

Cass County

Woman shot in Calvin Township, suspect arrested in Goshen

Cassopolis

Cassopolis Middle School student tests positive for COVID-19

Berrien County

Buchanan Township man hospitalized following Friday evening stabbing

Dowagiac

Dowagiac District Library launches new programs

Dowagiac

Young Professionals of Greater Dowagiac to host fifth annual mommy, son event

Dowagiac

Rotary ready to volunteer at Sandhill Crane Run

Berrien County

YMCA of Greater Michiana opens full day childcare at Northside Child Development Center

News

Fall hiking tour planned at Madeline Bertrand County Park