TV Show Leads to Arrest for 1997 Murder

Ariz. man killed pregnant teen girlfriend, cops say
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 18, 2014 1:00 PM CDT
TV Show Leads to Arrest for 1997 Murder
This Sept. 16, 2014, booking photo shows Cecilio Cruz, charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter in the 1997 death of his ex-girlfriend and her unborn child.   (AP Photo/Cottonwwood Police Department)

For more than 17 years, the family of Marisol Gonzalez has sought justice for her 1997 murder. The pregnant 17-year-old was shot in the face in Cottonwood, Ariz., and her body was discovered in an alley the day she was due to give birth to the baby boy she had named Andrew, the AP reports. Now, thanks to a TNT TV show that investigates unsolved murders, Marisol's former boyfriend, Cecilio Cruz, has been charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter in her death. Police had suspected Cruz, now 34, almost from the start—Marisol discovered she was pregnant with his child the day after they broke up, they reportedly were fighting about the pregnancy and other things the night of her murder, and Cruz moved out of the area a week after she was killed.

But no DNA or weapon was ever found, and the investigation stalled—until Cottonwood officer Tod Moore reopened the case six years ago. He eventually contacted the show Cold Justice, which flew an investigative team out in October, helping police piece together enough evidence to indict Cruz. "Most of the evidence we've always had. But we couldn't put it together," Moore tells the AP. Marisol's family is happy Cruz has been arrested, though nervous he was released on bond yesterday. "That night [she was killed], my sister was waiting for his phone call," Johanora Gonzalez says. "So who else can it be?" (Another Arizona cold-case murder was solved this week thanks to the killer himself.)

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