Mexican police have captured a man suspected of the vicious murder of Lancashire football coach Michael Jones in New York six years ago.
But two federal agents were killed and a third wounded in an operation to snare the fugitive in the central state of Puebla.
Karen Walton, a close friend of Michael’s family in Tarleton near Preston, said: “Everyone is relieved that someone is in custody at long last. But it is bitter-sweet because another two people have lost their lives in all of this.”
Police say the suspect, Orlando Orea, was finally cornered in the rural town of Acatlan de Osorio But attempts to extradite him to the United States to stand trial for the attack on 25-year-old Michael could now be delayed following the deaths of the two detectives in Mexico.
They were gunned down when they went to serve a provisional extradition warrant on Orea. That sparked a huge operation involving federal and state agents and Marines and the suspect was captured without a struggle.
Michael, a popular junior coach at New York Red Bulls, was stabbed multiple times in a street in Manhattan in October 2012 - the sixth anniversary of his death will be on Sunday.
Karen Walton, who six years ago was involved in a fund-raising appeal to help the Jones family bring his body back to Lancashire, said she hoped the arrest would mean justice at last for Michael.
“We want some justice, even if it can’t bring Mike back," she said.
“We were always hopeful that one day Mike’s killer would be brought to justice. The police have always said the case hadn’t been closed.
“But there are so many murders that, after six years, you begin to think maybe it won’t happen and it will be forgotten.
“Obviously people in the States have been pushing to keep this investigation going and finally it has had a result.”