Arizona Police Track Down Homicide Fugitive Who Was on the Run for 16 Years Using Social Media Posts by His Family and Friends

An Arizona man who spent 16 years on the run after pleading guilty to causing a woman's death in a drunken car crash has been arrested after police tracked him down on social media.

Adan Perez Huerta, who Maricopa County Sheriff's Office records state is 37 years old, though some media reports age him at 32, was apprehended in Toronto, Canada, and extradited to the U.S. where he was booked into jail on Thursday, the Associated Press reported.

An arrest warrant was issued for Huerta in 2003 after he pleaded guilty to negligent homicide but failed to appear for his sentencing. Now, he is back in police custody after a detective followed clues from the social media posts of Huerta's family and friends to track him down.

The detective from the Chandler Police Department started looking for Huerta in spring last year, department spokesman Sgt Jason McClimans told the Associated Press.

The detective checked the social media posts of Huerta's family members and associates, which eventually led to the detective discovering posts from Huerta himself, according to McClimans. "Social media always leaves a digital footprint," McClimans told the Associated Press.

McClimans said the detective figured out that Huerta was in Toronto from the posts. Police believe that he had been living in Canada for at least a year and was apparently using his real name before his arrest, McClimans added.

He was apprehended by Toronto police before U.S. marshals took Huerta into their custody and he was extradited to the U.S.

Jennifer Liewer, a spokeswoman for the Maricopa County Attorney's Office, said Huerta is only charged in the homicide case at the moment. However, she told the Associated Press that further charges may be filed after a prosecutor reviews his case.

Huerta's negligent homicide charge dates back to a 2002 crash in Chandler, Arizona that caused the death of a 19-year-old woman, reported.

He was driving when he crashed into an electrical box at around 1.30 a.m. on March 9, 2002, and the vehicle burst into flames, the station reported. His blood alcohol level was reportedly 0.165, which is more than twice Arizona's legal limit.

Both Huerta and the teenage passenger suffered serious burns in the incident. She died in hospital two months later.

Huerta pleaded guilty to negligent homicide in March 2003 but failed to show up for his sentencing hearing the following month, according to

The Chandler Police Department, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, and the Maricopa County Attorney's Office have been contacted for comment.

Adan Huerta
Adan Huerta, who pleaded guilty to negligent homicide but didn't turn up to his sentencing, was apprehended in Canada after 16 years on the run. Maricopa County Sheriff's Office