A man who had been named as the fifth suspect in the 2002 abduction-murder of an East Los Angeles teenager was found dead in Mexico, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department revealed Tuesday.
Brenda Sierra, 15, was abducted on Oct. 18, 2002, while on her way to school and was later found murdered in the San Bernardino County community of Crestline.
After years of investigation, five suspects were identified, and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office filed murder charges against the suspects in March 2015.
Three of the suspects were arrested that year and are awaiting trial. Investigators learned that the fourth suspect had been killed in East Los Angeles a year after the teen was killed.
The fifth suspect, 37-year-old George Barraza, fled to Mexico, and detectives had been working to have him extradited him back to the United States to stand trial while monitoring his activity, according to a sheriff’s statement.
Sheriff’s detectives learned in September that Barraza had been killed in Sinaloa, and U.S. marshals confirmed his death.
“Due to suspect Barraza’s rumored reputation of being involved in local gangs in the East Los Angeles and drug cartels in Mexico, potential witnesses may have hesitated to come forward,” according to a sheriff’s statement. “Detectives believe that additional individuals may have information related to this crime.”
Anyone with information on the case was urged to call the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.
–City News Service
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: