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$1M bond set for 1991 Galveston County suspect who's been on the run for 30 years

Luis Calderon, now 56, posted a $10,000 bond and skipped bail after his arrest back in 1991 for the attempted murder of Diane Sanchez.

TEXAS CITY, Texas — A woman left for dead along the Gulf Freeway more than 30 years ago can finally have some peace thanks to the determination of investigators.

The man accused of slitting the throat of then 28-year-old Diane Sanchez is now behind bars in the Galveston County Jail. On Wednesday, a judge set his bond at $1 million.

Luis Calderon, now 56, had been on the run since posting a $10,000 bond and skipping bail after his arrest for the July 4, 1991 attempted murder of Sanchez.

Detectives say he dumped the victim, his girlfriend at the time, in some weeds near l-45 at Holland Road in Texas City where she nearly bled to death. 

Earl Peugh was a delivery man who happened to be driving by when he spotted Sanchez.

RELATED: Arrest made in Galveston County cold case from 1991

"It will be the closest thing to a miracle, you will ever see," Peugh said.

Somehow, Sanchez survived.

"Her will to live was beyond comprehension. To get to where she did and the amount of blood that she lost – it was just overwhelming,"  Lt. Tommy Hansen with the Galveston County Sheriff's Office said. He was the original investigator called to the scene.

For nearly three decades, Sanchez was haunted by the thought that Calderon was still out there.

Lt. Hansen never forgot it either and never gave up. He tracked Calderon to El Salvador where he had family. With the help of the U.S. Justice Department and Interpol, FBI agents arrested him in 2020.

"It's a testament to law enforcement not giving up and not forgetting," former Galveston County deputy J. Walker said Wednesday. He was one of the investigators on the scene in 1991.

WATCH: News conference on Luis Calderon

"It's amazing to bring somebody to justice after all these years."

Calderon was surprised to see them and probably thought he'd gotten away with the brutal crime. 

"It looked like he had a normal life. He had a wife, two kids he'd raised," Galveston County Sheriff Henry Trochesset said Wednesday.

It's taken more than two years to extradite Calderon back to Texas where he will stand trial.

RAW VIDEO: Luis Calderon returned to Galveston County

Sanchez was there when Calderon's arrest was announced but she was too emotional to speak.

"It's been very traumatizing," Sanchez's daughter April Rojas told us. "We're just happy that now she finally gets to have some closure and hopefully she can sleep better at night."

For the first time since that terrifying night, Sanchez was able to thank Earl Peugh, the man who saved her life and who also attended the news conference.

Grace White on social media: Facebook | Twitter

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