MICANOPY MANHUNT: Homicide suspect in custody after overnight search


A man wanted in connection with the killing of his girlfriend in Suwannee County was caught this morning in a vacant Micanopy home after an intense manhunt.

35-year-old Ricardo Fuentes, who also goes by the alias Ruben Gutierrez, was caught by a Jacksonville K-9 and arrested around 9:45 a.m., Alachua County Sgt. Brett Rhodenizer said. Fuentes is currently being treated for those K-9 bites.

Fuentes has been on the run after his girlfriend, 32-year-old Delia Cruz, disappeared on Sunday in Suwannee County.

Deputies were searching that area when, on Tuesday, they received a call from a relative of Fuentes' who said he confessed to killing and burying Cruz, and was at the convenience store in Micanopy off I-75. By the time Alachua County Sheriff's Deputies arrived, Fuentes was gone.

During the manhunt, Suwannee County Sheriff's deputies say the body of a woman matching the description of Cruz was found buried in the 22000 block of 41st Road near Branford. The body will be taken to the medical examiner's office in Tallahassee for examination.

Rhodenizer said Fuentes broke into at least two houses in the Micanopy area. Deputies had ceased the search at one point but started it again Tuesday night after getting a tip he had changed from a black shirt to a white tank top. Rhodenizer said he was found wearing a white shirt.

Fuentes is a registered sex offender, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. They say he was convicted of sexual battery in 2004 and released from prison last December after serving 10 years for attempted murder.

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