Mireles was arrested at the home of a relative in Melchor Muzquiz, Mexico, and is being held in jail there, pending extradition. He was arrested on a murder warrant issued in by Butler County, U.S. Deputy Marshal Logan Kline said.
According to Butler County prosecutor Jan Satterfield, he has been charged with murder, rape and aggravated criminal sodomy in the death of 18-year old Sander. Reportedly, investigators believe that the killing was planned.
Kansas investigators received tips about Mireles' whereabouts in Mexico, and authorities there have been monitoring his movements since Dec. 3 when charges were filed in Butler County. Mexican authorities held off on making an arrest in the case until charges were filed against Mireles in Kansas.
According to Satterfield, the prosecutor’s office was forced to promise Mexican authorities that they would not seek the death penalty against Mireles. If convicted for the murder, he could face life imprisonment without possibility of parole.
Sander was last seen leaving a bar in El Dorado, Kan., in the company of Mireles. After Sander was reported missing, investigator went to the motel were Mireles was staying and found evidence of a struggle and a large quantity of blood.
On Nov. 29, Sander's body was found by the side of the highway 50 miles east of El Dorado near a bedspread that was similar to one taken from the motel. Authorities speculated that Mireles might have dumped Sanders body there, in route to the home of his pregnant girlfriend, 16-year-old Victoria Martens.
Apparently, the pair was headed for Mexico when investigators found a car rented to Mireles in Vernon, Texas, 350 miles from the place where he was last seen.
Martens, who is 8 months pregnant, also was found in Melchor Muzquiz and apparently is refusing to return to Kansas.
During the disappearance of Mireles, a plea for police tips and donations to a reward fund were posted on ZoeyZane.com, alongside photos of Mireles and Martens.
There also was a statement by the owners of the site criticizing the media for their “irresponsible” coverage of the story and labeling Sander as a “porn star.”
Today on the site, the photos of Mireles have been labeled “captured” and underneath Marten's photo, a caption reads, “safe.”
A posting dated Dec. 19 reads, “Israel Mireles is in custody and behind bars on homicide charges, suspected in the death of 18-year-old Emily Sander. Authorities say Victoria Martens is safe, but will not elaborate until a 3 p.m. news conference.”