How police could extradite missing Texas boy’s parents from India if criminal charges filed

·4 min read

If Texas or federal authorities at some point determine that criminal charges against the mother or stepfather of missing 6-year-old Noel Rodriguez-Alvarez are appropriate, issuing a warrant would make one or both of them fugitives. If that happens, law enforcement could begin the process of extradition from India, police said at a news conference this week.

Noel hasn’t been seen by family or friends since November, but authorities weren’t notified that he was missing until they received an anonymous tip on March 20. His mother, who has full legal custody of Noel and lives in Everman, did not cooperate with investigators and lied to them about where her son was, according to Everman police.

Noel Rodriguez-Alvarez, a 6-year-old boy with severe disabilities, hasn’t been seen since November 2022. He is considered an endangered missing person.
Noel Rodriguez-Alvarez, a 6-year-old boy with severe disabilities, hasn’t been seen since November 2022. He is considered an endangered missing person.

She boarded a flight with her husband and six other children from Dallas-Fort Worth Airport bound for Turkey and connecting to India two days before an Amber Alert was issued, authorities said.

Police have confirmed that Cindy Rodriguez-Singh and her husband, Noel’s stepfather Arshdeep Singh, made it to India after initially flying to Istanbul. On Tuesday, Everman Police Chief Craig Spencer said that while investigators have still not been able to find any physical evidence as to what happened to Noel, circumstantial evidence was piling up.

The mother initially told police that Noel was with his biological father in Mexico. Homeland Security verified that there is no record of Noel crossing the border into Mexico, Spencer said. The biological father is cooperating with the investigation and has not seen Noel, according to police.

Spencer said authorities are concerned that the family might not return to the U.S. to answer questions. They issued warrants for Rodriguez-Singh on a misdemeanor charge of filing a false report and on a probation violation. She was sentenced to 10 years of probation in 2020 on a repeat offense of driving while intoxicated, according to Tarrant County court records.

It’s unlikely that authorities would try to extradite the mother back to the U.S. on those charges, Spencer said. If the investigation leads to more serious charges, that would lead to fugitive status and federal authorities could help with extradition, he said.

But there are still some boxes authorities would have to check before they could extradite anybody from India.

Police said they had no significant updates on the investigation to release Thursday. “Please rest assured that as soon as we have something substantial to update, we will happily do so,” the department said in a Facebook post.

Investigators are “not working on a clock” and will continue looking for Noel until they find out what happened to him, the police chief said.

Requirements and process for extradition from India

In order for a crime to be considered extraditable under the treaty between the United States and India, the charges have to be severe enough to warrant punishment for at least one year, no matter if the law or one similar exists in India or if that law is considered as severe there.

If that is met, Everman police, or any agency wanting to extradite a suspect from India, would have to work with federal authorities to submit an extradition request through diplomatic channels, by the terms of the treaty.

India would require the U.S. to provide evidence, statements, documents, a copy of the warrant, “and such information as would justify the committal for trial of the person in the requested state,” according to the website for the Indian Embassy in Washington, D.C.

Indian authorities would review those documents and decide whether to approve or decline the extradition request. In “cases of urgency,” American authorities can request a provisional arrest while the extradition is being processed.

Have U.S. suspects been extradited from India before?

Government documents from India indicate that from 2002 to 2015, the latest compiled information readily available, at least 11 people were extradited from India to the United States. The crimes of which the extradited people were accused included murder, terrorism, sexual abuse of a child, fraud, financial fraud and economic offenses.

In April 2019, Indian national Hitesh Madhubhai Patel, 42, was extradited to Houston to face charges of general conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy for his role in running a “call center” to scam people, according to U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement. He was found guilty of scamming U.S. victims out of millions of dollars and sentenced to 20 years in federal prison, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

In 2014, Mahfuz Huq was returned to the U.S. to stand trial on murder charges after he was accused of murdering a romantic rival in the 1989 slaying of 19-year-old Todd Kelley in Hamilton, Indiana, the South Bend Tribune reported at the time. The Associated Press reported in 2014 that Huq, a naturalized American citizen, pleaded guilty and was sentenced under the terms of a plea agreement to 40 years in prison.

Fox News reported in 2014 that Huq appealed to the Indian government not to extradite him. That appeal was shot down by Indian authorities.