Fri, Feb. 28

Murder victim finally gets headstone

During the summer two years ago, Omar Cardenas' body was found in back of his car parked off Arizona 260 east of Verde Village. A warrant was issued for his alleged killer, who is still at large.

Saturday friends and family will finally commemorate a headstone on his grave at the Valley View Cemetery.

Cost originally prevented purchase of a headstone. Now Kristen Russell, Omar Cardenas' best friend, ordered the gravestone and made the arrangements.

"I would like to invite all of Omar's family and close friends to join the ceremony to honor our beloved companion. We are remembering a life that cannot be forgotten. We will gather to commemorate this life with a headstone specially created and donated by friends and family," says Russell. She says a small ceremony is planned Saturday at 11am at Valley View Cemetery in Cottonwood.

Kristen knew Omar for six years. They had worked together at the Enchantment Resort where he was a waiter. At the time of his death, they worked together at Rene's in Tlaquepaque.

A patrol officer found the Cardenas' car parked in an unusual location one-half mile east of Ogden Ranch Road June 28, 2004. He had been shot in the back of the head and then driven to the remote location and his body was found in the back seat of the car.

The investigation determined the 27-year old man was killed one day earlier. Officers had traced cell phone calls from Cardenas' phone to the Domingo Valdez-Anguiano home. It is believed they were friends or acquaintances.

Police sought initially Anguiano as an investigative lead. His home on Horseshoe Lane in Verde Village 4 was searched. Omar's dried blood was found on the pavement outside Anguiano's front door but the suspect has never been found.

By the end of the year, a first-degree murder warrant had been issued for Anguiano's arrest. His wife was interviewed in California.

Anguiano has relatives in Mexico and it is now believed that he may have fled across the border in his black 1994 Ford Ranger to avoid apprehension. Anguiano has been listed as a wanted fugitive on America's Most Wanted.

The investigation remains open.

Cardenas is survived by his mother, Angel Ofrecina Pimpo, a brother and sister, in Cottonwood.

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