A West Baltimore couple charged with murder in July were arrested at Newark International Airport this week as they walked off a flight from Central America and attempted to re-enter the country carrying false identity documents, Baltimore police said yesterday.
Jason Beau Moody, 28, and Stephanie Madariaga, 24, were met by a team of Baltimore detectives and federal agents who had assisted city police in tracking the couple's movements after the fatal shooting of Madariaga's ex-husband, Kevin Shields.
FOR THE RECORD - An article in yesterday's editions of The Sun about a West Baltimore couple arrested on murder charges incorrectly identified the location of the Dominican Republic. It is in the Caribbean.
The Sun regrets the error.
Investigators said yesterday that Moody and Madariaga conspired to murder Shields and then went on the run from the law in an unusually daring way. During the past seven weeks, police said, the pair crisscrossed three states and the District of Columbia, and finally fled to Santo Domingo - the capital of the Central American nation of the Dominican Republic.
It's unclear what the pair were doing in the Dominican, police said. Detectives were able to track their movements and were alerted that the couple were planning to re-enter the United States on Wednesday of this week, investigators said.
Baltimore Detective Anthony D. Lansey said the double arrest was the most complex case he has handled for the city's warrant apprehension task force, because of the close coordination of an array of agencies.
"This was a collaboration with the [Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives] agency, the U.S. marshal's office, the Secret Service and Customs," Lansey said.
"They were also in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Washington, D.C., and we monitored their movements as they went," he added. "There were a lot of resources involved in this," he said.
The couple apparently had enough cash or income to live well, Lansey said, but he did not disclose the source of their support.
Shields, 26, was shot at mid-day July 12 in the 3300 block of Clarks Lane near Madariaga's home. According to police, witnesses saw a man and a woman arguing with Shields shortly before the shooting. Witnesseses also reported seeing a white 2003 Cadillac Escalade sport utility vehicle at the crime scene, police said.
Shields, who had recently been divorced from Madariaga, approached an SUV in the parking lot at his ex-wife's home and began arguing with a female passenger, according to court papers.
"A heated argument ensued between the two," the papers said. "The victim and the driver then exchanged words" and the driver opened the door of the SUV and shot Shields three times in the face and back, the papers said.
Shields' 8-year-old son witnessed the killing of his father, court records said.
Lansey said Moody and Madariaga took a Continental Airlines flight back to the United States on Wednesday. The couple are being detained in Newark while authorities await extradition papers, police said.