New Bedford fugitive found in Connecticut

Jun 17, 2022

A New Bedford man wanted on charges of sexual assault who recently fled the area with his two minor children has been arrested in Connecticut.

The Bristol County District Attorney’s Office announced Friday that 46-year-old Leon Mejia-Vicente was located with his two children in Willimantic, Connecticut around 3 p.m.

He was arrested by agents assigned to the U.S. Marshal service with help from Willimantic police along with Massachusetts state police and New Bedford detectives, according to the D.A.’s office.

The children, who were also reported as missing and endangered, are now in the care of Connecticut Youth Services.

The D.A.’s office credited New Bedford Police Det. Samuel-Algarin Mojica, who was recently appointed as a liaison to the city’s Central American community, as being integral to locating Mejia-Vicente and his children.

“This case highlights the importance of quick action by various agencies working together to locate the fugitive and the missing children,” said District Attorney Thomas Quinn III. “When a child goes missing the early stages of the investigation are critical to safely locating them. I am grateful for the cooperation of the Central American community in New Bedford, that was critical to apprehending the suspect.”