PHOENIX - A man has been arrested for the 1998 murder of 17-year-old Pete Cadriel in Phoenix. Cadriel's family said his alleged killer was his best friend.
"I (still) continued to talk to (him) after the death of my brother, not knowing this," said Ruth Santos, Cadriel's younger sister who was 13 when he died.
Phoenix police said Israel Lomeli, 32, was arrested at his mother’s home on Tuesday and booked into jail for second degree murder.
According to police, Lomeli, Cadriel, and two other friends burglarized a home in July 1998 near 70th Avenue and Encanto Boulevard, taking vintage firearms and a coin collection.
They planned to meet to split the stolen items but when the victim and suspect met again they got into an argument over the property.
According to police, Lomeli shot and killed Cadriel in his home.
Police say the suspect got rid of the body by putting it in a residential trash receptacle and got others to help him move the receptacle with the victim’s body to another location, to the rear of the Brunswick Bowling Lanes near 72nd Avenue and Indian School Road.
Police were called out to the bowling alley in August 1998 about a body found in a trash receptacle.
At the time police were not able to identify the victim and the case remained unsolved.
In 2009, Phoenix police detectives reviewed the case and compared it to a missing person’s report the victim’s mother had filed in September 1998.
Cadriel was identified through DNA and dental records, but the homicide remained unsolved.
In 2013, detectives were contacted by someone who provided details into Cadriel’s murder.
Detectives interviewed a number of people who provided information related to the crime and who had remained silent this entire time, police said.
Detectives got a search warrant and evidence was collected at Lomeli’s previous home where the murder occurred.
Lomeli was arrested on March 19 and denies being involved in the murder.
Cadriel's father teared up when he told news reporters: "Too bad (my) wife ain't here." Cadriel's mother passed away a year ago after searching for justice for more than a decade.
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