COTTONWOOD – The Arizona Homicide Investigators Association awarded Cottonwood Police Department Detective Sergeant Tod Moore as the 2016 Investigator of the Year, according to a news release from the department.
The presentation was held at the AHIA annual conference Oct. 5.
Sgt. Moore was nominated by Cottonwood Police Detective James Repp, who recounted numerous supervisory duties conducted by the sergeant, according to the release. However, it is Sgt. Moore’s cold-case investigation of the Marisol Gonzalez homicide case that earned him the recognition, said Cottonwood Police.
Seventeen-year-old Marisol Gonzales was shot and killed in a Cottonwood alley in 1997, according to police. She was pregnant with her full-term baby boy, Andrew, who died as well, stated the release. Police were not able to make an arrest in the case.
In 2009, Sgt. Moore reopened the case, said police. His investigation process included contacting the television network TNT to produce a show called “Cold Justice: First Love” in 2014 – proving to be very helpful in the investigation, according to the release. Sgt. Moore was able to take the case to the Grand Jury and obtained an indictment against suspect Cecilio Cruz, who was Gonzalez’s boyfriend and the father of baby Andrew, said police. Sgt. Moore and Det. Repp traveled to Tucson where Cruz was living and subsequently arrested, according to the release, and charged in the double murder.
“It is due to the hard work and extraordinary measures ... that Sgt. Moore was selected to receive this award,” said Cottonwood Police Commander Gary Eisenga in the news release.
“Cottonwood Police Department is honored to have Sgt. Moore as a valued member of our department,” said Eisenga.