Family relieved after police arrest husband in fatal machete, car attack

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The family of Noelia Fernandez is feeling a sense of relief now that the man accused of her murder was apprehended.

Fernandez's children say they got word from detectives Thursday night about Victor Mateo's arrest in Pennsylvania. Angie Romero and Kenneth Zuniga say the two were married for 20 years before she was run down with a car and attacked with a machete.

Zuniga says Mateo worked as a pastor in the Bronx at a small church.

Although they say signs of mental abuse were visible, they say they never saw any signs of physical abuse. They say their mother finally had enough and moved into her own apartment in the Bronx - and they say they are proud of their mother.

They say she described it as freedom after being trapped for so many years. Kenneth said the first thing Noelia did was visit his home in Spain.

“Those two weeks she was just so happy. It was such a gift, that is my memory i'm taking with me," said Zuniga.

The Hazleton Police Department tells News 12 that Mateo is expected to be extradited back to New York City.

The family will be at Sisto Funeral Home in the Bronx to say goodbye on Thursday.

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