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Fugitive captured at Hastings library

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A man who had been featured on "America's Most Wanted" for killing his girlfriend in Florida two years ago was arrested Saturday at the Pleasant Hill Library in Hastings.

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Abraham Mpaka, 46, was arrested at the library and is being held at the Dakota County jail.

Mpaka was featured on the "America's Most Wanted" television show three times.

"America's Most Wanted" had this summary of his arrest on its website:

An AMW tipster was surfing the web when she saw a story on AMW.com about our plans to profile accused killer Abraham Mpaka in our broadcast of March 12, 2011. She was shocked at how he resembled her friend's boyfriend, Larry Holmes.

The tipster called in the information into the AMW Hotline. Like every other lead, this information was taken very seriously by Detective Tracy Lystad of the North Miami Beach Police Department.

Detective Lystad had a good feeling about this tip and sent it off to Minnesota to be followed up on by the FBI.

That information led agents to another girlfriend of Mpaka's, who then led agents to more girlfriends. After talking to six women in Minnesota, FBI agents had active information.

That information came just hours before the March 12, 2011, broadcast.

FBI agents and the local Hastings Police Department were told that Mpaka was running an errand with his girlfriend's van. Cops followed up on that information.

At first they didn't find the van at the local store where it was supposed to be. Acting on information that Mpaka liked to hang out at local public libraries, officers from the Hastings Police Department found the van.

Officers and agents entered the small town library and inside they found Mpaka at a computer station.

FBI Agent Dan Otterson said, "He was arrested without incident."

Mpaka was charged with murder and unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. He awaits extradition back to Florida, where he will face justice.

Agent Otterson said, "I've been doing this for a long time. AMW has been good to the FBI and our fugitive program. We're glad to help out in this case."

As for the North Miami Beach lead detective, Tracy Lystad, she was related. She said, "I was in disbelief. I knew it would happen but not sure when."

Detective Lystad credited the AMW tipster who did the right thing, "I'm grateful to AMW. I wanted to get Mpaka before he would do it again. He killed once, there's nothing to say he wouldn't do it again. And we did it!"

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Chad Richardson
Chad Richardson is the publisher and editor at the Hastings Star Gazette. He was the general manager of the Farmington Independent and Rosemount Town Pages from 2000 to 2007. He previously worked at the Star Gazette from 1996 to 2000 as a photographer and reporter. He also worked as a photographer and writer at the Pope County Tribune in Glenwood.
(651) 319-4500
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