NewsWest Valley NewsEl Mirage News


El Mirage cold case murder solved 17 years later thanks to new technology

El Mirage PD: 2001 murder cold-case solved
El Mirage PD: 2001 murder cold-case solved
Posted at 10:51 AM, Sep 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-27 16:13:33-04

The Arizona Department of Public Safety says they have solved a 17-year-old cold case murder in El Mirage.

Richard Cacero Lucero was found dead on Dec. 20, 2001, when a family friend asked officers to conduct a welfare check on the victim.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety took over the case from El Mirage police, as the medical examiner found the death to be a homicide. All leads eventually went cold.

RELATED: See unsolved murder cases, missing persons in Phoenix

In a recent review of cases by DPS, officials noted that the homicide was a good candidate for new DNA testing with improved technology. New tests on prints taken from the scene matched Frank Gallas Mendoza in the FBI identification system. 

Officials located Mendoza in California and he was arrested on Monday. He is expected to be extradited to Arizona to face murder charges.