17-year manhunt ends in arrest for former TV host

  • 20/06/2016
Roberto Saenz de Heredia (File)
Roberto Saenz de Heredia (File)

A fugitive who allegedly faked his own death in an attempt to avoid murder charges is back behind bars.

The former television shopping host spent 17 years on the run after he allegedly tried to blow up a Sydney couple.

On June 15, 1998, heavily armed police surrounded the home of 27-year-old bodybuilder Brett Boyd, after he picked up a parcel that had exploded in his face. The bomb had been addressed to his girlfriend Simone Farrow.

Police alleged Roberto Saenz de Heredia was responsible. His motive was believed to be linked to a debt of $80,000 that he was owed.

While on bail, however, Heredia fled overseas on a stolen passport. Police found his car abandoned in Kings Cross, smeared with his own blood, and initially thought he might be dead.

But this morning he was extradited back to Australia with detectives by his side.

"I'd just like to congratulate the detectives involved in this from Northern Beaches. They've been determined to get to the bottom of this, and they've done a great job," Superintendent Dave Darcy said.

Police never stopped hunting for Heredia and finally got a breakthrough in 2010, when it was discovered he'd been living in Europe under fake names.

They worked with foreign police to track his movements, before finally arresting Heredia on a flight to London earlier this year.

Heredia now faces trial for attempted murder, as Brett Boyd was seriously injured by the bomb.

"It [the bomb] has badly wounded him and he was lucky to survive," Supt Darcy said.

The incident left him with a heavy emotional burden too, and Mr Boyd took his own life in 2008.

Heredia remains in custody and will return to court next week.

Channel 7 News