Colorado

Feb 22, 2010 7:45 PM by David Ortiviz

Arrest made in Pueblo cold case murder

An arrest has been made in a Pueblo murder case that went unsolved for nearly three decades. On Monday, Pueblo police announced the arrest of 58-year old Ray Cortinas for the murder of 24-year old Cheryl Valdez. 

The murder happened on August 31, 1982 near the intersection of Lake Ave. and Lakeview St. Cortinas allegedly chased valdez with his car and pinned her into a building. An off duty police officer shot him as he tried to run away.

The judge dismissed the charges against Cortinas on grounds that his statements were coerced. But in January, Pueblo Police re-opened the case and discovered new evidence in photographs. "We've never forgotten about it. We always wanted to solve it. In terms of being able to prosecute it, we always knew who committed it, we just needed to have more evidence to be able to go forward," said Jim Billings, Pueblo Police Chief.

Police say Cortinas was taken into custody Monday morning in Tennessee. He is being held pending extradition.

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