LOS ANGELES — Investigators say a fugitive gang member on a federal most-wanted list suspected in the 2002 kidnapping and slaying of a teenage girl in Southern California has been killed in Mexico.

Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials say detectives had been tracking George Barraza and hoped to extradite him to the U.S. for prosecution in the death of 15-year-old Brenda Sierra.

The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday that officials recently learned Barraza died in the Mexican state of Sinaloa.

Investigators said Sierra was targeted because her brother had testified as a witness in a gang shooting just days before she disappeared in October 2002.

Barraza was on the U.S. Marshal Service’s “15 Most Wanted” list.

Three others suspected in Sierra’s slaying were arrested in 2015 and are awaiting trial. All have pleaded not guilty.

Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com/

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