HAYTI, MO (KFVS) - An investigation conducted by special agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the coordinated intelligence efforts from multiple other agencies has resulted in the arrest of a fugitive who had been on the run for more than a decade.
In November 2005, detectives with the Springfield Police Department obtained warrants charging a man using the false identity of "Joe Anthony Mercado Ortiz", with four counts of child rape and five counts of aggravated sexual battery. "Ortiz" was arrested on November 15, 2005 and was released after posting a $135,00 bond. One week later, "Ortiz" failed to appear in court and a warrant for failure to appear was issued for him.
On September 27, 2016, efforts from multiple law enforcement agencies resulted in the development of information that the man known as "Joe Anthony Mercado Ortiz" may be in Missouri. TBI agents went to Missouri and worked with authorities there in obtaining information that "Prtoz" may be in Hayti, Missouri with a woman believed to have fled from Tennessee with him in 2005.
On Friday, September 30, officers with the Hayti Police Department located and arrested the man known as "Joe Anthony Mercado Ortiz" at the Budget Inn at 941 State Highway in Hayti.
The subject's identity is still unknown, but officers were able to identify him based on tattoos taken at the time of his arrest.
He was booked in the Pemiscot Sheriff's Office while awaiting extradition to Tennessee.