Edwin Ernesto Rivera Gracias, local add to FBI's Ten Most Wanted list, surrenders
Just a couple of weeks ago, we noted that Edwin Ernest Rivera Gracias, suspected of committing a brutal murder in Jefferson County circa 2011, had been added to the FBI's updated Ten Most Wanted list.
Gracias didn't stay there long, however. He surrendered to the FBI in El Salvador and is now back in Colorado to face charges that could put him away for the rest of his life. Look below to see photos, video and details of the crime that resulted in a $100,000 reward being put on his head.
We wrote about the murder of Richard Limon, 69, and the subsequent arrests of Raul Nunez-Sota, Tina Louise Moya and her teenage daughter, later identified as Nena Moya, back in August 2011. As we noted at the time, Limon's body was spotted by two cyclists riding the Lariat Loop.
The crime scene.
Back then, the connection to Rivera Gracias wasn't immediately known. But according to 7News, citing an arrest warrant, he was a key part of a plot against Limon, whose own rap sheet was 51 years long -- and the connections between the parties was definitely creepy.
Examples? Moya was married to Limon, but she's said to have told people he was actually her father, presumably so they wouldn't look askance at her dalliances with Nunez-Sota, her boyfriend. She and Nunez-Sota lived together in a West Dakota Avenue house, while Limon was restricted to a recreational vehicle in the driveway.
Meanwhile, Rivera Gracias was dating Nene Moya, who was seventeen at the time of Limon's death. According to the affidavit, he hated Limon because he'd allegedly molested Nena when she was a kid and sexually assaulted her mom.
Tina Moya reportedly wanted someone/anyone to kill Limon, and finally, Rivera Gracias and Nunez-Sota agreed, attacking him in the bed of the RV. The first lethal idea involved suffocation -- wrapping his head in duct tape and punching him until he gave up the ghost. But when that didn't work after fifteen minutes or so of struggle, they resorted to a messier methodology, with Rivera Gracias retrieving a steak knife from the house and repeatedly stabbing him.
Afterward, they dumped Limon's body near the Lariat Loop, the duct tape still on his face and the steak-knife's blade broken off in his chest. Then, the next day, the killers returned to the crime scene and booted the corpse a little further down the hill, in the hope that it wouldn't be seen.
Not exactly a perfect crime -- and within the week, everyone other than Rivera Gracias was in custody. In the end, Tina Moya and Nunez-Sota pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and a violent crime count, earning 36 years and 48 years behind bars, respectively, while Nena got two years in youth corrections on an accessory conviction.
FBI agents from Denver escort Rivera Gracias from the plane that brought him back to Colorado.
Courtesy of the FBI
During this period, Rivera Gracias was in El Salvador -- but shortly after he was named to the Ten Most Wanted list, he surrendered and was subsequently transferred to U.S. custody at the FBI's Legal Attaché Office in San Salvador.
The feds hand over Rivera Gracias to Jefferson County Sheriff's Office reps.
Courtesy of the FBI
Afterward, he was flown to Denver in the company of FBI agents, who then turned him over to Jeffco officials. The first hearing in his case was yesterday. In the meantime, he's cozy in Jefferson County Jail.
Here's a 7News report about Rivera Gracias, followed by his Ten Most Wanted listing, complete with a tattoo on his hand featuring Nena's name.
Continue for the FBI's original Ten Most Wanted listing for Edwin Ernesto Rivera Gracias, including multiple photos. Here's the FBI's original Ten Most Wanted listing for Edwin Ernesto Rivera Gracias:
EDWIN ERNESTO RIVERA GRACIAS
Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution -- First Degree Murder
REWARD: The FBI is offering a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading directly to the arrest of Edwin Ernesto Rivera Gracias.
Edwin Ernesto Rivera Gracias is wanted for the murder of a long-time family acquaintance of his girlfriend. The 69-year-old victim was found brutally beaten, stabbed, and dumped in the mountains of Jefferson County, Colorado. The crime took place on August 17, 2011. Rivera Gracias is believed to be in El Salvador, and may have a Salvadoran identification that says Edwin Rivera. He may also attempt to travel to the United States using fraudulent documents. He is a member of the La Mara Salvatrucha gang (MS-13). Rivera Gracias has ties to other gang members who are located in Colorado; Los Angeles, California; and El Salvador. Rivera Gracias may also visit Mexico and Guatemala.
More from our Photos archive: "Photos: FBI's updated Ten Most Wanted list -- and the Colorado crime on it."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Westword's biggest stories.