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TNT's hit show 'Cold Justice' comes to Cottonwood for Marisol Gonzalez case

Marisol Gonzalez

Marisol Gonzalez

COTTONWOOD -- Marisol Gonzalez was a top student at Mingus Union High School, had lots of friends and a close-knit family that loved her.

At 4-feet, 10-inches tall, Marisol was known as a kind, special person with an ever-present smile who found joy in family and nature. She also loved reading poetry and loved everyone, especially babies. Marisol never missed school. She was equally fluent in English and Spanish and volunteered as a peer tutor in a high school English as a Second Language class.

In the summer before her junior year, Marisol began dating one of her neighbors and classmates, Cecilio Cruz. Marisol hadn't gone out with many boys, but she was taken in by Cecilio's seemingly heartfelt affection and eventually fell for him -- he was her first love. However, she quickly came to realize that she was far from the only one that he loved, and they broke up. Soon after, she found out she was pregnant. With the love and support of her family and friends, she decided she was going to have the baby.

Months later, on March 25, 1997 around 10 p.m., Marisol - now full term in her pregnancy - told her sister she was waiting for a call from Cecilio, and went outside with a cordless phone. That was the last time she was seen alive. Around 6 a.m. the following morning, her body was found in an alleyway a block away from her house. She had been shot one time in the face. To this day, Marisol's family, friends and the entire Cottonwood Community are shocked and devastated by her murder and that of her unborn child, Andrew -- and they desperately want justice (Source: excerpt was taken from the website of TBS, "Cold Justice").

Cottonwood PD's Criminal Investigations Division,Detective Sergeant Tod Moore reopened the Marisol case in 2009.

In 2012, police representatives, under the direction of Chief Jody Fanning, contacted Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (TNT) requesting their assistance in helping solve this double murder through TNT's syndicated "Cold Justice" program.

In "Cold Justice," Kelly Siegler, a former Texas prosecutor for 21 years who has successfully tried and won 68 murder cases and Yolanda McClary, a former crime scene investigator who worked more than 7,000 cases in her 26 years at the Las Vegas PD, are putting their knowledge and experience to work helping local law-enforcement officers and families of the victims get to the truth bringing dangerous criminals to justice and providing closure for the families of their victims.

With a fresh set of eyes on old evidence, well-honed interrogation skills and access to advanced DNA technology and lab testing, Siegler and McClary are determined to help bring about a legal and emotional resolution to the Marisol Gonzalez double homicide case working in conjunction with Cottonwood Chief Jody Fanning and Detective Sergeant Tod Moore. Assisting Siegler, McClary and Det. Sgt. Moore and his staff of CID detectives, were "Cold Justice" retired homicide detective Alan Brown, an 8-year veteran homicide detective with the Houston, TX Police Department, and retired homicide detective Armando Perez, a 12-year veteran homicide detective with the Dallas Police Department.

On Oct. 14, 2013, TNT "Cold Justice" filming crews started arriving in Cottonwood to begin setting up the filming of this episode. A few days later the homicide professionals arrived. The investigation and its filming took place Oct. 17-24. The combined investigation effort involved contacting over 90 investigative leads throughout Arizona. Investigators put in 16- to 19-hour days and traveled hundreds of miles in those two weeks.

The airing of this episode of "Cold Justice" is set for Feb. 7, 2014 on the TNT channel.

Contact the reporter at jhutchinson@verdenews.com or Twitter @_jhutchinson

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