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Boyfriend arrested in 1997 murder of pregnant Ariz. teen

Murder suspect Cecilio Cruz during his arrest with Cottonwood Police Detective Sgt. Tod Moore.


KPHO via Cottonwood Police Department

TUCSON, Ariz. - Police have arrested the man they believe shot and killed a pregnant teenager in central Arizona in 1997. Marisol Gonzalez was found with a single gunshot wound to her face near her home in Cottonwood 17 years ago, reports CBS affiliate KPHO.

Her unborn, full-term son, Andrew, also died in the attack.

Police said her boyfriend and father of the child, Cecilio Cruz, became the prime suspect, but they had been unable to gather enough evidence to make an arrest or "give a definitive answer to Marisol's family as to what may have happened to her that fateful night," according to a Cottonwood police news release Wednesday.

But Cottonwood police enlisted the help of TNT Network's Cold Justice TV show, which over a two-week span helped with the investigation, looking at more than 90 leads and interviewing many people for the first time.

The show aired in February and Moore said he and his team continued to work leads, conduct interviews and working closely with the Yavapai County Attorney's Office. And this week, Detective Sgt. Tod Moore said the department received an indictment and an arrest warrant was obtained for Cruz on second-degree murder and manslaughter charges.

Cruz was found in Tucson, where he was arrested about 8:20 a.m. Tuesday without incident, Moore said.

"I am glad we got to bring this chapter to a close for the Gonzalez family and the Cottonwood community as a whole," said Chief Jody Fanning, who was one of the original investigators assigned to the case in 1997.

"I have never forgotten the Gonzalez family and have given my continued support and dedicated resources to assist my team in bringing closure for this family," Fanning said.

Cruz was booked into the Pima County Jail where he was being held on $100,000 bond.