HOLLYWOOD—25-year-old Jesus Catalan, the prime suspect for the murder of Paulina Ibarra, is now in custody at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility awaiting his July 19 preliminary hearing at The Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in downtown L.A.
On August 28, 2009, 27-year-old Paulina Ibarra, a transgender resident of Hollywood, was stabbed to death in her home. According to an LAPD report, officers responded to a radio call about a screaming woman in a Mariposa Avenue apartment that night. There, they discovered Ibarra’s body.
With the help of Ibarra’s friends, Catalan was soon thereafter identified as a suspect, and in November, a warrant was issued for his arrest. In December, the case was featured on “America’s Most Wanted,” and Catalan’s photo was displayed in front of a nationwide television audience. However, Catalan continued to elude the police for nearly seven more months.
On July 3, Jesus Catalan attracted attention from Mexican authorities for causing a disturbance at a Tijuana motel. As a U.S. citizen, Catalan was transported to the border and handed over to San Diego police, who fingerprinted him and discovered that he was wanted for murder. He was then transferred into the care of the LAPD.
Now that Catalan is in the hands of police, the victim’s friends and family have hopes that justice may be served. “Honestly, I’m very happy that the murder suspect of my friend Paulina Ibarra was captured,” Carlos Gonzalez, a close friend of Ibarra, told Canyon News. “My friend and I even sent text forwards out to everyone in case they saw him (Catalan), but now my friend Paulina can finally rest in peace. I’m very happy.”