A fugitive wanted for a June 2010 murder in Palmdale was captured Wednesday after an America’s Most Wanted tipster led investigators to her whereabouts in Belize, according to the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office.
Larene Eleanor Austin, 29, was arrested without incident and returned to the United States, via Houston, Thursday. Austin is accused of killing Lanell Barsock, 29, on June 16, 2010. Barsock’s body was found in the garage of her home in the 37400 block of Rockie Lane in Palmdale; she had a bag over her head, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s office.
According to America’s Most Wanted, Austin and Barsock became friends after meeting in the personal ads section of Craiglist, and the friendship evolved into a romantic relationship.
When Barsock dumped Austin to focus on her boyfriend, Austin shot Barsock in the back of the head and then tried to cover her tracks by framing Barsock’s boyfriend, according to America’s Most Wanted.
Investigators say Austin was the one who reported the murder and became the primary suspect shortly thereafter.
When a warrant was issued for Austin’s arrest, she fled the state.
In December 2011, the case was publicized on America’s Most Wanted and then sheriff’s detectives received a tip after the program aired, indicting that Austin was living in the Central American country of Belize.
Sheriff’s detectives determined the tip was credible and shared it with members of the FBI’s Fugitive Task Force in Los Angeles.
Officers with the Belize Police Department working with FBI agents in Central America arrested Austin Wednesday in the Toledo District of Belize without incident.
Thursday Austin was expelled from Belize and was flown to Houston. Austin is expected to make an initial appearance in Superior Court in Houston, and is expected to be transferred to Los Angeles in the near future.