1. Archive

Judge orders the extradition of fugitive arrested in Tampa

A fugitive wanted for questioning in the 1995 death of a Camden teenager was ordered Tuesday to return to New Jersey from Florida to face an unrelated attempted sexual assault charge.

Miguel Figueroa, 29, formerly of Camden, had refused to voluntarily waive extradition from Tampa, where he was arrested in early January. At a hearing, he called the charges "bogus."

Gov. Christie Whitman last month signed a warrant to have Figueroa returned to New Jersey over his objections, and a judge in Florida on Tuesday ordered his return, said Greg Reinert, a spokesman for the Camden County Prosecutor's Office.

Figueroa is expected in New Jersey within the next day or two, Reinert said.

Figueroa is wanted in Camden on attempted sexual assault charges from 1995 involving a teenage girl. Authorities also want to question him about the sexual assault and fatal stabbing of another teen.

New Jersey authorities got a tip that Figueroa was living on Interbay Boulevard in Tampa. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement arrested him there Jan. 6 at the home he had shared with his girlfriend since May.

Shaline Seguinot, 13, disappeared while riding a bicycle in August 1995. Her body was found three days later in a weedy lot.

Authorities have stopped short of calling Figueroa a suspect in Seguinot's death, but he has been wanted for questioning for two years in that case.

FDLE special agent Don Schrenker helped arrest Figueroa in Tampa. Schrenker said the Seguinot slaying figured prominently in the urgency New Jersey authorities felt in bringing him back to Camden.

"The day after we arrested him, the papers up there already had articles saying they were bringing him back," Schrenker said. "The governor was even involved."

Schrenker said Figueroa fought extradition because he wanted to stay close to his girlfriend.

_ Times staff writer Angela Moore contributed to this report.