Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

Karl Hoerig

Newton Falls, Ohio

March 12, 2007

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
44 Air Force Maj

910th Airlift Wing

 Hero killed by his wife.

American Hero Fought Terrorism
Karl Hoerig was a real American hero. The decorated Air Force reservist piloted nearly 200 combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan during his military career.
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Karl Hoerig was an Air Force reservist who flew nearly 200 combat missions in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He flew Hercules C-130s and was stationed out of the Youngstown Air Force base. 

The highly-decorated pilot had achieved the rank of Major and continued to pilot part time with the 910th Airlift Wing. 

Karl had very specialized training as one of only ten "sprayers" in the Air Force. This meant that Karl would go on humanitarian missions to areas struck by natural disasters such as famine and flooding. In that capacity, Karl flew and sprayed over Katrina-ravaged New Orleans in the late summer of 2005. 

Karl Hoerig had children from a previous marriage and a grandchild on the way at the time of his death. In addition to them, he leaves behind his parents and two brothers, including one sibling who also works for the Air Force.

Claudia "Cris" Hoerig was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Prosecutors say that Hoerig came to the U.S. in 1989 for work and education. She became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1999 and had previously been married to a New York doctor for 10 years.

U.S. Marshals say that Hoerig fled to the South American country the day of the murder, but she could be anywhere in South America, Central America or the Caribbean.
From Scene & Heard cleverscene.com 04/21/16

Wife of Murdered Newton Falls Pilot Karl Hoerig Arrested in Brazil, May Finally Face Extradition
Posted By Kyle Swenson on Thu, Apr 21, 2016 at 11:19 am

For the family and friends of Karl Hoerig, the last decade has been a heartbreaker. 

In March 2007, Hoerig — a decorated U.S. Air Force pilot and all-around great guy — was found shot dead in his home in Newton Falls, a small town outside Warren. Police immediately had a suspect: Hoerig had become estranged from his wife, a Brazilian woman named Claudia, after a rocky and strange marriage. Hoerig was looking to get out. Claudia wasn't interested in letting him go. The final weeks of the marriage — documented by Scene in a 2011 cover story — were an accelerating tailspin that ended with Hoerig's murder. 

But in the hours after the shooting, Claudia flew to her home country. For the last nine years, she's been living in Brazil because the United States doesn't have a firm extradition treaty with the country in cases involving nationals in non-drug cases. That all seemed to have changed in the last 48 hours. 

Yesterday, Brazil's high court affirmed a decision by the country's Ministry of Justice to revoke Claudia's Brazilian citizenship, allowing for extradition to move forward, according to WKBN. Earlier this month, Trumbull County Prosecutor Dennis Watkins was able to get the FBI to place Claudia on the agency's Most Wanted List. 

Following the Brazilian court decision, last night, Claudia was arrested by local law enforcement, according to U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan's office. It appears, after nearly a decade, Hoerig's family might finally see Claudia back in the U.S. to face charges. 

“Until I see her brought into a courtroom by Trumbull County Sheriff’s deputies, and that would be Courtroom Number One to be arraigned and stand trial, I will have some concern,” Watkins told WKBN. 

So, fingers crossed. The last decade has been particularly hard on the friends and family Karl left behind — folks who haven't given up despite having geopolitics upsetting what appears to be a very clear cut case. We'll keep updating the story as more information becomes available. 
From Cleveland FOX 8 TV fox8.com 04/21/16:

Nine years later, local family hoping for justice after murder suspect arrested in Brazil

EWTON FALLS, Ohio - A major break in the death of a local military hero.

After nine years, an arrest has been made in Brazil.

Claudia Hoerig is now in a jail cell in Brazil. She faces charges in Trumbull County for killing her husband, Air Force Reserves Major Karl Hoerig.

“We’ve been waiting, we want justice, not vengeance, justice,” said Ed Hoerig, Karl’s father.

With tears streaming down his cheeks, Karl’s father, told Fox 8 he wants Claudia to face charges for what he believes she did to his son.

Karl Hoerig was killed in his Newton Falls home in 2007.

Trumbull County Prosecutor Dennis Watkins said Claudia Hoerig , shortly after shooting her husband, and emptying their bank accounts, fled to Brazil. She was able to avoid facing U.S. charges because Brazil’s constitution prohibits the extradition of Brazilian nationals.

But finally, after pressure from U.S. officials including Congressman Tim Ryan, a Brazilian judge ordered Claudia Hoerig to be taken into custody.

Family members are hoping she will now be returned to the United States to face charges.

“It’s time Karl gets the justice he deserves,” said family friend, Larry Diemand. “He was a good man. He was a patriot He was brutally murdered and that’s absolutely wrong.”

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