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Arizona cold case homicide victim may have had ties to Bay Area

PIX Now evening edition 12-26-23
PIX Now evening edition 12-26-23 08:21

Investigators in Arizona have identified a cold case homicide victim and the man might have ties to the Bay Area, the San Francisco Police Department said on social media Tuesday. 

Law enforcement is trying to find anyone who might be related to the man.

In November 1976, hikers in a desert area of Arizona came upon human remains in a shallow grave, according to the Mohave County Sheriff's Office. The victim was a man standing 5 feet, 8 inches tall and was between 30 and 35 years of age and between 140 and 150 pounds. 

Investigators determined that he had been shot in the head at close range. 

During the autopsy of the man, fingerprints were obtained, but detectives were unable to identify him, the Sheriff's Office said. A composite of what he probably looked like was created by the Museum of Northern Arizona, located in Flagstaff. 

In October of this year, investigators with the Mohave County Sheriff's Office began a review of the case. The digital images of the man's fingerprints taken in 1976 were then compared to all available prints on file nationally, which was not an option nearly 50 years ago. This time, the victim was identified as Luis Alonso Paredes, originally from El Salvador.

Detectives believe that Paredes may have been living or working in the Las Vegas area at the time of his death, but he also may have had employment with the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Navy in the San Francisco Bay Area nearly a decade before his homicide.

According to the Sheriff's Office, to this point, investigators have been unable to locate any of his relatives or next of kin.

Anyone who may have information helpful to this case or who may be able to help investigators locate the family of Paredes is encouraged to contact the Mohave County Sheriff's Office detective division at 928-753-0753, ext. 4288 and reference DR# 76-5053. 

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