READING, Pa. - The arrest of Miguel Torres, accused of killing his wife, Barbara, in 2005 in the city of Reading, brings a bittersweet moment for the victim's family.
"We're so happy," said Jessica Lebron, the victim's sister.
Torres, 42, had been on the run since September 2005, when he allegedly killed his wife Barbie, execution-style, in downtown Reading.
Last Friday, Torres was captured in Italy, living under the name, Rene Rondon, authorities said.
Family members say Barbara's mother was so shocked by the idea that Miguel could have killed Barbara, that she clung to the belief that perhaps the crime did not happen.
"She held on to that thought for seven-and-a-half years," said Lebron. "That they were together in protective custody because maybe Mikey saw a crime or something and they had to get away. Because there's no way, this guy who we loved, trusted, who was her son, would do such a thing."
While authorities searched the globe for Torres, family members organized their own search efforts reaching out to strangers in Latin America.
"I had no idea who they were," Lebron said. "Just to say maybe he's their neighbor."
The process is underway to extradite Miguel Torres back to the U.S.
It is likely he will pass by the very spot where he is accused of killing his wife. Ironically, just feet away, sits the Berks County Courthouse where Torres is expected to face a judge in connection with this crime.
"For Miguel to have to come and face that exact same spot, I'm hoping he'll have some remorse," Lebron said. "Because of right now, seeing everything in the Italian newspapers, he's not Miguel. He's Rene Rondon. To him, I think he put that in his head and that's what he believed and that's how he survived all these years."
Lebron says only when Miguel Torres has arrived to American soil will it really sink in for her that the search that lasted for more than seven years, is finally over.
Allentown, PA 18102