EL PASO, Texas -

Authorities say they finally have the man accused of beating a woman to death in Chaparral, New Mexico, in 2006.

Eduardo Estrada, 42, is in the process of being extradited back to the U.S. after being found in Mexico. The body of 31-year-old Emely Howard-Ianni's was found nude and brutally beaten to death, and Estrada was always listed as the primary suspect by detectives.

"I want to just express our appreciation. It's a big load off the family's shoulder. I know we still have a long way to go in the judicial system, but it's a huge step," David Ianni, Emely's father, said.
 
Ianni feels a sigh of relief knowing that the man accused of abducting and brutally beating his daughter to death in 2006 is being extradited from Baja California Sur back to New Mexico to face trial.

"They took this as not a cold case. It was an active investigation from the day they approached me. It's amazing to me that they stuck to it, they were able to find someone in another country along with the cooperation of the Mexican government," Ianni said.

U.S. Marshals and the numerous other agencies involved in the case, including the Dona Ana County Sheriff's Office, held a news conference Thursday to announce the arrest.

The preliminary investigation after Ianni's body was found in Chaparral, New Mexico, listed Estrada as the prime suspect.

"A lot of interviews, a lot of investigation, a lot of following leads and then that all culminated yesterday when we were notified by Mexican law enforcement agencies that they located Estrada," Robert Almonte, U.S. Marshal from the Western District of Texas, said.

The investigation revealed Ianni struggled in her efforts to fight off Estrada. Ianni left behind three children, one who turns 18 on Friday.

"I want people to remember Emely with a smile. If she didn't know you, you were a friend to her, and she treated you like you were a friend for life," the victim's father said.

District Attorney Marc D'Antonio said he will do everything in his power to put together a solid case against Estrada. Charges range between capital murder to a third degree felony.