TIMELINE: Eswin Mejia's arrest and release

Posted at 5:00 PM, Apr 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-01 18:38:33-04

The Omaha Police Department has released a timeline of events in the arrest of Eswin Mejia as Nebraska Sen. Ben Sass continues to pressure Immigration and Customs Enforcement leaders.

SEE ALSO: Sasse: ICE adds Eswin Mejia to Most Wanted list

Mejia has been missing since he was released on bond after being arrested for a crash that left Sarah Root dead.

The following information was released by the Omaha Police Department: (Note: It has been edited for clarity)


Jan. 31, 2016

2:14 a.m. - Crash 

Mejia and Sarah Root transported to UNMC by OFD Squad

Accident Investigators process scene, initiate investigation

Before Mejia’s release from UNMC, Accident Investigator Bowes confers with Assistant County Attorney Matthew Kuhse on charges and Mejia’s ICE status is conveyed, along with other investigatory details. 

Mejia is released from UNMC and transported to Douglas County Corrections.  On the DUI supplementary report, Mejia is identified as an “alien”.  His booking sheet indicates he is not a citizen and was born in Honduras. 

2:19 p.m. 

Mejia booked for DUI-Serious Bodily Injury, (Sarah Root still alive).

Later that day Sarah Root is declared brain dead, but on life support for possible organ donation.

ACA Kuhse amends charge to Motor Vehicle Homicide-DUI, a class 2A Felony

Feb. 4

Investigation continues with an autopsy on Feb 4th as well as the arraignment, (bond setting hearing).

Victim’s father calls late afternoon questioning the bond amount.  Accident Investigator Turnbull takes the call and tries to confirm it with DCC.  She is told that no bond was set.

Accident Investigator Swanson calls Kuhse concerned about the bond amount due to the flight risks.  Unless something new is discovered; it will have to stand.

Still on the 4th, AIS investigations switch to discovery of any flight-risk details that can be gathered.  Nothing is new since arraignment is found.

Feb. 5

Early morning (approx. 8 a.m.)

AI Turnbull calls ICE in an attempt to get a detainer on Mejia, due to bond amount and elevated flight risk.  No answer – leaves a message.  Her call is not returned. 

Turnbull re-checks AI Swanson’s investigation and can find no new evidence to support a rehearing on bond amount.

10:30 a.m.

Turnbull calls ICE again at about 10:30 a.m.  Her request is denied by ICE.  She gives the local supervisor’s number to Traffic Lieutenant Sokolik to call. 

11 a.m.

Sokolik calls at about 11 a.m. No answer, Sokolik leaves a message.  The call is not returned.

1:30 p.m.

Sokolik calls back later (about 1:30 p.m.) and gets no answer again.

4:52 p.m.

Still on the 5th, at 1652 hours, Eswin Mejia bond is posted by Santos Jesus Romero-Mejia. 

8:44 p.m.

At 2044 hours, Mejia is released by Douglas County Corrections on bond, per the court.

Feb. 10

Officer Turnbull is notified of the warrant for Mejia.  The OPD Fugitive Unit begins the search for Mejia.

Turnbull calls ICE back to inform them of Mejia’s disappearance.  She finds out about a years’ earlier ICE contact with a juvenile named Edwin Mejia with a similar age but different date of birth.  Turnbull goes to Douglas County Corrections to obtain Mejia’s booking photo and fingerprints.  She hand delivers them to ICE to confirm Mejia’s identity and get him flagged in their nationwide system.  His prints matched and he is currently flagged with his photo and prints in the national system.

The investigation and manhunt is still underway to attempt to locate Mejia.