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Suspect from America's Most Wanted found at library in Hastings

Abraham Mpaka

A man who had been featured on "America's Most Wanted" for killing his girlfriend in Florida two years ago was arrested Saturday at the Pleasant Hill Library in Hastings.

Abraham Mpaka, 46, was arrested at the library and is being held at the Dakota County jail.

Mpaka was featured on America's Most Wanted three times.

On Saturday, Hastings Chief of Police Paul Schnell sent council members an e-mail about the incident.

His e-mail read like this:

"This afternoon Hastings police officers were contacted by the agents from

the Minneapolis Office of the FBI. They had a tip that a man wanted in a

2008 Miami, Florida murder was believed to be in Hastings. Agents and

officers went to an address on East 5th Street where the suspect, Abraham

Jackson Mpaka, age 46, was reported living and learned from a resident that

he had left a short time earlier to go to a local Super America. HPD

officers and agents went to the SA but were unable to locate the suspect.

"Armed with information, Officer Don Farrington went to the Hastings library where he found the vehicle that Mpaka was reported to be driving. Officers and agents set up a perimeter around the library while others went in. At 4:42 PM, Mpaka was located inside and after initial denials of identity was arrested without incident.

"Mpaka is suspected in the stabbing death of a former girlfriend in Miami.

The case was highlighted on America's Most Wanted (AMW) three times. Mpaka

appears to have been in Minnesota for some time. It is not clear how long

he has been in Hastings.

"Mpaka is currently being held in the Dakota County Jail awaiting extradition.

"Hastings police officers did a great job. The FBI agents characterized our officers as proactive and extremely responsive. I am proud of them all the work our officers do in service to this City."

America's Most Wanted had this summary of his arrest on their website:

An AMW tipster was surfing the web when she saw a story on about our plans to profile accused killer Abraham Mpaka in our broadcast of March 12, 2011. She was shocked at how he resembled her friend's boyfriend, Larry Holmes.

The tipster called in the information into the AMW Hotline. Like every other lead, this information was taken very seriously by Detective Tracy Lystad of the North Miami Beach Police Department.

Detective Lystad had a good feeling about this tip and sent it off to Minnesota to be followed up on by the FBI.

That information led agents to another girlfriend of Mpaka's, who then led agents to more girlfriends. After talking to six women in Minnesota, FBI agents had active information.

That information came just hours before the March 12, 2011, broadcast.

FBI agents and the local Hastings Police Department were told that Mpaka was running an errand with his girlfriend's van. Cops followed up on that information.

At first they didn't find the van at the local store where it was supposed to be. Acting on information that Mpaka liked to hang out at local public libraries, officers from the Hastings Police Department found the van.

Officers and agents entered the small town library and inside they found Mpaka at a computer station.

FBI Agent Dan Otterson said, "He was arrested without incident."

Mpaka was charged with murder and unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. He awaits extradition back to Florida, where he will face justice.

Agent Otterson said, "I've been doing this for a long time. AMW has been good to the FBI and our fugitive program. We're glad to help out in this case."

As for the North Miami Beach lead detective, Tracy Lystad, she was elated. She said, "I was in disbelief. I knew it would happen but not sure when."

Detective Lystad credited the AMW tipster who did the right thing, "I'm grateful to AMW. I wanted to get Mpaka before he would do it again. He killed once, there's nothing to say he wouldn't do it again. And we did it!"