Photo: Edgar Ortega Cervantes
A man from Mexico has been arrested in a 1996 cold case of murder.
The murder occurred in Santa Ana on June 27, 1996. The victim, 24-year-old Julio Franco, was found dead in a restroom by his roommate from what appeared to be a stabbing incident. Because there were no witnesses to the crime, the case went cold after a time of unsuccessful investigation.
Thirteen years later, in 2009, Cold Case Homicide Detectives picked up the case again for further investigation, having “identified potential items of forensic evidence,” according to the release. This time, they were able to name the suspect using DNA evidence. The suspect was identified as now 51-year-old Edgar Ortega Cervantes of Mexico, where he was located and arrested on October 26, 2020.
Cervantes was extradited from Mexico to California on Thursday, July 15, 2021, where he was interviewed by Santa Ana Police Homicide Detectives. After making “incriminating statements” in the interview, Cervantes was booked for the murder of Julio Franco.
“The motive for the murder is still unknown,” states the release. “Anyone with additional information on the case is asked to call SAPD Homicide Section detectives at (714) 245-8390, or Orange County Crime Stoppers at 1-855-TIP-OCCS.”