An Ontario man accused of fatally stabbing his girlfriend in Kitchener, Ont., posting it on Reddit and evading capture by fleeing to the United States for more than two months, has been arrested in Texas.
Waterloo Regional Police said 24-year-old Ager Hasan was taken into custody by the U.S. Secret Service during a random traffic stop in San Antonio on Tuesday.
“The U.S. Secret Service was conducting an ongoing investigation into counterfeit currency at which time they conducted the traffic stop and made the arrest,” Insp. Mike Haffner told reporters during a press conference Wednesday afternoon.
“They then liaised with Homeland Security and Border Services connected with our organization and ultimately executed the warrant.”
Police said Hasan was arrested while driving a black 2016 Honda HR-V with an Arkansas licence plate.
The arrest comes two days after a person claiming to be a suspect wanted for the murder of 22-year-old Melinda Vasilije posted a message on Instagram hinting he may turn himself in.
“I’m coming home. It’s time to end the dark path I’ve been traveling and give people the closure they deserve,” the post read.
Hasan, of Hamilton, Ont., was wanted on a Canada-wide arrest warrant for second-degree murder in connection with the stabbing death of Vasilije.
Her body was located in a Kitchener apartment on April 28 in what police said was a targeted attack.
“The arrest of Mr. Hasan provides significant closure to our community and to our investigators as they now can prepare for the judicial proceedings,” Haffner said.
“We hope this arrest provides some closure and comfort to the family of Melinda as they continue to deal with the grief of their loss.”
Waterloo Regional Police said investigators have had continuous contact with Hasan via email since the Canada-wide warrant was issued but would not reveal the details of the conversation.
“I’m not at liberty to say nor do I know the exact date of the last conversation our investigators had with Mr. Hasan,” Haffner said. “However throughout the conversation through email the encouragement was for Mr. Hasan to turn himself in.”
VIDEO: Ager Hasan detained during traffic stop in Texas: Waterloo Police
Police had also been looking into three other messages posted on the Instagram account last month.
One of the three posts consisted of Hasan appearing in a short video with no audio, another is a photo of Hasan and Vasilije appearing together, which has since been deleted, and the third is an artistic video which did not show the accused.
Days after Vasilije’s death, a post on the website Reddit emerged that appeared to describe her killing in vivid detail and was purported to be written by Hasan.
Police have yet to say whether the social media accounts have been linked to him.
“With the number of social media posts that have been allegedly been provided by him, one of the difficulties we have as a law enforcement agency is dealing with legislation in relation to privacy and IP addresses,” Haffner said.
“Ultimately it causes significant delays in trying to locate individuals, gain information and more important located where Mr. Hasan was.”
The accused crossed the U.S.-Canada border on April 28 in a black 2016 Honda HR-V with Ontario licence plate BPKT509. Police said the accused managed to steal a Pennsylvania licence plate from a Walmart parking lot.
VIDEO: Police discuss ‘complicated’ manhunt for Ager Hasan
Hasan was last seen in Tennessee on May 20 and was believed to be heading to Mexico, but a caption in an Instagram video refuted the assertion.
“The information we had during his arrest yesterday is that he look very similar to what he looked like on April 28, 2017,” Haffner said.
“In relation to his travels throughout the U.S., I’m unable to comment on where he went to or whether he made it to the Mexican border.”
Police said Hasan will appear in a San Antonio court on Wednesday and an extradition process will follow soon after to bring him back to Canada.
Haffner said police have been in contact with the victim’s family and that they have requested privacy.
Authorities said they received a number of tips on the case by telephone and through social media and are encouraging anyone with information to continue to come forward.
Anyone with details on the case is asked to call police at 519-653-7700 ext. 8666 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.