Woman pleads not guilty in 2005 murder of Canadian husband in Puerto Rico

Aurea Vazquez Rijos appears in a Madrid courtroom in 2013. JAVIER LIZON / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

A Puerto Rican woman accused of offering a hit man $3 million to kill her wealthy husband, Winnipeg-born Adam Anhang, in 2005 was denied bail Thursday.

Aurea Vazquez-Rijos pleaded not guilty and was ordered by a judge to remain in jail until her trial, scheduled to start Oct. 27, according to the Associated Press.

Vazquez-Rijos was extradited to Puerto Rico from Spain in late September. The Associated Press reported that Vazquez’s mother attended the hearing and was given custody of her daughter’s baby.

READ MORE: Father awaits justice in son’s 2005 murder in Puerto Rico

A U.S. grand jury charged Vazquez in June 2008 following the death of Winnipeg-born real estate developer Adam Anhang, who had an estimated net worth of $24 million.

Global News’ investigative program 16×9 profiled the murder of Anhang in March of 2014 and the harrowing efforts of his father Abe who tracked Vazquez-Rijos all the way to Europe and helped the FBI build a case against her.

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Anhang was brutally beaten and stabbed to death in September 2005 in Puerto Rico’s capital San Juan after he and Vazquez met to discuss their pending divorce.

WATCH: Adam Anhang’s parents explain how they kept track of Vazquez’s  movements, right up to her arrest

16×9 obtained an FBI affidavit based on eyewitness accounts that described how a hit man named Alex Pabon-Colon, nicknamed “El Loco,” followed the couple before confronting them and demanding money.  Pabon-Colon then hit Anhang over the head with a cobblestone before stabbing him several times with a knife.

“According to an eyewitness, Aurea watched the struggle from a short distance and did not yell, flee, or attempt physically to stop Pabon-Colon . . . While they were engaged in the struggle, Anhang shouted to Aurea, ‘Run, baby, run.’

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“Pabon-Colon then hit Aurea in the head with the piece of cobblestone, and she fell to the ground. Pabon-Colon did so because in prior conversations, Aurea had instructed Pabon-Colon to assault her as well, in order to make the incident look real.”

FBI agents in Puerto Rico would not be able to make a connection between Vazquez-Rijos and Pabon-Colon until he was arrested in 2008. He told authorities that Vazquez-Rijos, along with her sister Marcia, and Marcia’s boyfriend, Jose Ferrer Sosa, had promised him $3 million to kill Anhang, but they’d reneged on the murder-for-hire deal.

Vazquez fled to Italy where Anhang’s father continued to track her using a local private detective in Milan before her eventual arrest in Spain in June 2013.

Watch Global’s 16×9 full story “A Father’s Justice” from March 2014.

*With files from Claude Adams


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