Barbara Torres' family elated by capture of Miguel Torres in Italy

Berks woman killed weeks after seeking divorce from husband in 2005

READING, Pa. - It's a day some thought would never come. Now that Miguel Torres is in custody, people are praying for justice for Barbara "Barbie" Torres.

Barbie's sister said her mom, Cathy LeBron, is elated by the news that her daughter's suspected killer, Miguel Torres, was captured Friday morning in Bologna, Italy.

The family also expressed appreciation to the various local, state, federal and international law enforcement agencies' work over the last seven years.

"Now I think the family can sit back and know that he's captured now, and he's going to pay for what he did," said Barry Rohrbach, president, Crime Alert Berks County, which had offered a cash reward of up to $15,000 for information leading to Torres' arrest.

There was a similar sentiment at Berks Women in Crisis.

"I can't imagine how they must feel, but we're glad for them that this day has finally come, as well," said Christine Gilfillan, the associate director at BWIC.

What happened to Barbie Torres seven years ago has been a story that has haunted them and victims of domestic violence, Gilfillan said.

"She had obtained a protection order. She had left him, which we all know is the most dangerous time for a victim of domestic violence. That's when abuse or violence will escalate. That's when people are typically killed," said Gilfillan. "None of us will forget that ad he placed in the newspaper with their wedding photo. I think it was the morning she was killed or the day before she was killed saying, 'I'll love you forever.'"

People at Berks Women in Crisis were cheering when they heard the manhunt for Miguel Torres ended in Italy, Gilfillan said. 

"You heard about him every now and then, but it didn't seem hopeful that they would find him," said Gilfillan. "So, I think people were surprised at the level of emotion that they felt."

And in that emotion there was also sadness for Barbie Torres.

"It's sad to remember her life, 31-years-old," said Gilfillan. "It's just sad to remember she had to lose her life." 

Miguel Torres shot and killed his wife execution-style outside the former Wachovia Bank where she worked on North 6th Street in downtown Reading on Sept. 12, 2005, police said.

Torres is now in the custody of Italian authorities, awaiting extradition to the United States on murder charges, said officials with the U.S. Marshals Service.

Barbie Torres' family said it's been an emotional seven years.  They received the news Friday about Torres' capture from the district attorney.  Barbie's mom, Cathy LeBron, said she would be ready to speak once she knows Miguel Torres is back on American soil.

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