TUCSON -- Cecilio Cruz has been a suspect since the beginning in murder of Marisol Gonzalez and her unborn son, so Cottonwood police knew he has been living in Tucson. He reportedly moved to Tucson with his parents shortly after the Cottonwood murder.
Like Marisol, Cecilio was 17 at the time of the killing. Today he is 34.
Detective Sgt. Tod Moore, who has been driving the cold case in recent years, says Cottonwood Police asked for help from the Tucson GIITEM task force, which focuses on gang and immigration offenses. He said GIITEM knows that Cruz was a "documented" gang member in Tucson. An early theory was that the murder was a rival gang hit as payback against Cecilio, who was said to be selling drugs in Cottonwood.
Moore says GIITEM provided police with several locations, but Cottonwood Police arrested him at work at 8:30 Tuesday morning. He was working as a Family Life counselor for a Tucson Funeral home and was contacted at the cemetery. Armed with an arrest warrant, Cottonwood Police arrested Cruz without a struggle. He was jailed and arraigned in Tucson at 9 p.m. Tuesday night and was expected to be transferred to the Camp Verde Jail. Moore said he attempted to engage Cruz in an interview, but he immediately said that he would not speak without an attorney.
But the elation by police and the family was short lived.
Cruz was initially held on $100,000, but, Sgt. Moore says, a Pima County judge who was not familiar with the case agreed to reduce the bond to only $10,000 and Cruz bonded out.
Cruz face two offenses; a second-degree murder charge for the killing of Marisol and a manslaughter charge for the death of her unborn son, Andrew.
An indictment was handed down last week by a grand jury.
Moore credits the TNT police program "Cold Justice" with bringing together a seasoned prosecutor and homicide detective and the manpower to focus reams of investigative documents and evidence answering unresolved questions.
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More like this story
- Cruz arrested at Tucson cemetery in Marisol Gonzalez murder (with police video interview)
- Cecilio Cruz arrested in 17-year-old homicide of Marisol Gonzalez and her unborn son
- Cecilio Cruz murder case moves to Prescott
- Judge eases Cecilio Cruz bond a bit, may do more Friday
- Sgt. Moore is celebrated for work on cold case murder