Downey man accused of killing Tijuana sex worker will stay in custody through extradition

A Los Angeles County man who was arrested in connection with serial murders targeting strip-club workers in Mexico will remain behind bars throughout his extradition proceedings, a judge ruled Monday.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen L. Stevenson ordered Bryant Rivera jailed without bond while extradition proceedings take place in Los Angeles federal court. Rivera appeared in court, but said nothing, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Rivera, 30, of Downey, was arrested Thursday at the request of Mexico on a femicide charge, authorities said. Femicide has been used to describe the current spate of violence against women in Mexico.

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Rivera is accused of murdering at least one sex worker in Tijuana. Mexico may add additional charges when prosecutors submit a formal request for extradition, according to a criminal complaint.

Rivera allegedly beat and strangled Ángela Acosta Flores to death on Jan. 24, 2022, in a room at Hotel Cascadas, next to the Hong Kong Gentlemen's Club in Zona Norte, a red light district in Tijuana, the complaint says.

Late last year, Baja California Attorney General Iván Carpio Sánchez described the then-unidentified killer of Flores and at least two other Tijuana sex workers as displaying "violent and psychopathic behavior" comparable to serial murderer Ted Bundy.

Flores, 20, had been working as a stripper and occasional prostitute at the Hong Kong bar for about five months, her mother told investigators.

On the night of the murder, the victim texted her mother that she was going with a client to a room at the hotel for 30 minutes. Security cameras caught a man and Flores together before entering the room, according to the complaint.

When the mother began to worry, Flores' boyfriend went to the bar to look for her. He could not find her, but one of the workers said Flores had been with "a male client with a light brown complexion, an acne-scarred face," who stood about 5-foot-5 and had brown hair, according to the document.

"The woman added that she knew the victim's client as `Bryant Rivera,' and that he was a `gringo,' the complaint states.

Flores' mother and boyfriend went to the hotel seeking information, and remained there until learning that a woman had been found dead in room 404, the complaint says.

A dancer at the bar told investigators that she had met with a man matching the suspect's name and description hours before the murder and went to a hotel room with him. She said that at about 10 p.m. that night, she saw the man she knew as Rivera leave the bar with Flores, according to the complaint.

Just after midnight on Jan. 25, 2022, Rivera returned to the United States on foot at the San Ysidro port of entry, the document states, citing border control records.

The complaint and provisional arrest warrant for Rivera was placed under seal June 29 by a federal judge in downtown Los Angeles due to the possibility that the suspect "is likely to flee if he learns of the existence of a warrant for his arrest," prosecutors wrote. It was unsealed after Rivera's arrest one week later.