2007-12-21 / Community

Busted In Ecuador For Murder Of Local Man

One of the state's most-wanted criminals, the suspected murderer of an offduty Far Rockaway corrections officer, was apprehended by U.S. Marshals in Ecuador last week, ending a threeyear manhunt, police sources say.

The suspect, identified by police as George Saravanos, 23, was wanted for allegedly shooting local resident Robert Ross outside of a Sheraton Hotel in Flushing on December 4, 2004.

The two had both attended a party that night in the hotel when Saravanos allegedly targeted Ross, who was sitting on a bench, for a robbery attempt.

When Ross identified himself as a corrections officer, Saravanos allegedly opened fire and fatally shot him in the groin, police said.

Saravanos, who has already served three years of prison time for attempted burglary, was recovering from a gunshot wound in an Ecuadorian hospital when authorities from the federal marshals service put him under arrest.

Authorities said that Saravanos was considered a suspect shortly after the murder and he then fled the country.

He was apprehended when police became aware that, in 2005, Saravanos' father, a multimillionaire, had wired $80,000 to Ecuador.

Ross was a youth sports coach and had a young son.

Saravanos was extradited to the United States this week. He pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, criminal possession of a weapon and tampering with evidence.

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