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Reps. Yoder, Luetkemeyer Discuss Immigration Officials' Failure To Detain Murder Suspect

Montgomery County Jail

U.S. Reps. Kevin Yoder and Blaine Luetkemeyer want answers after a Mexican man allegedly murdered five people in Kansas and Missouri last week.

Pablo Serrano-Vitorino, 40, is accused of killing four people in Kansas City, Kansas, March 7 before leading law enforcement on a cross-state manhunt that ended after a fifth murder in Montgomery County, Missouri.

“Mistakes were certainly made on a variety of levels,” says Yoder. “You have immigration and customs officials having multiple opportunities to detain this man and not being able to do so.”

Yoder and Luetkemeyer met Thursday with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to discuss failures to apprehend Serrano-Vitorino despite three encounters with law enforcement in two years. Serrano-Vitorino was in the country illegally after a 2004 deportation.

“People were murdered in our community last week of a failure of our country to enforce the laws that are on the books, to provide the proper resources necessary and laws to secure our borders, and the laws to have better interior security once these individuals are into the country,” Yoder says.

He says horrific cases like this one drive many of the concerns about immigration he hears in his office.

Yoder added that it’s time to strike down local laws that prevent close coordination between local law enforcement and ICE.

Serrano-Vitorino is in custody in Missouri. He’s accused of killing Michael Capps, 41; Jeremy Waters, 36; Clint Harter, 27; and Austin Harter, 29, at a home on South 36th Street in Kansas City, Kansas, as well as Randy J. Nordman, 49, of New Florence, Missouri.

Elle Moxley is a reporter for KCUR. You can reach her on Twitter @ellemoxley.

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