Carlos Luis Pinales-Mejia was developed as a suspect, but investigators learned that he fled to the Dominican Republic.
For years, he was considered one of Rock Hill's "Most Wanted" criminals. In May 2011, the U.S. Marshal's task force located Pinales-Mejia in the Dominican Republic and arrested him. He was held in the custody of the Dominican National Police until his extradition.
He returned to Rock Hill Thursday, where authorities took him into custody. He is charged with murder and possession of a firearm during a violent crime, according to police documents.
Pinales-Mejia, 24, was denied bond Friday.
Pinales-Mejia allegedly shot Schiavone, 22, on Jan. 30, 2008, with a 9-mm semi-automatic handgun, according to an arrest warrant.
Schiavone, who lived on Pecan Circle in Rock Hill, was found unresponsive at Pinales-Mejia's apartment at 1035 Hearn Street, which is about four miles from downtown Rock Hill near Cherry Park.
Amber's sister Stephanie Schiavone, 23, said Friday it was difficult to describe her feelings about Penales-Mejia's return to Rock Hill. When he fled the country, she felt "hopeless" and feared he would never be caught.
"The biggest emotion is I’m really happy," she said, thanking the U.S. Marshal's and Rock Hill Police.
"When I got the news that he was on his way back to the states, I can’t even describe to you what I felt inside. It feels good knowing that he won’t be able to do that to anybody. He will pay for his crime," she said.
Her sister, she said, "can rest in peace."
Amber's uncle, Robert Schiavone, 50, was also glad to hear the news Friday.
"Because I didn't know Carlos, I couldn't really carry a tremendous amount of hate for him," he said. "I keep Amber closer."
Schiavone remembers the little moments he shared with Amber.
She loved the marshmallow "Peeps," and two days before she was murdered, he bought her some.
"Even though she'd sort of outgrown them, she didn't outgrow me getting them for her," recalls Schiavone, who thought of Amber more like a daughter.
He said the authorities will take care of bringing Pinales-Mejia to justice.
"Is it something to celebrate? It might bring some closure down the road. But my focus is mostly on Amber. Those memories are most important," he said. ""Law enforcement will seek justice. Me, I just keep Amber close to my heart. I remember Amber."