Suspect Arrested and Extradited for Three Cold Case Murders
2011-01-10 · By Editor
On October 14, 2001, at about 6:30 a.m., officers from the Long Beach Police Department responded to the 6600 block of Rose Avenue in Long Beach, where 30-year-old Richard Murillo was found shot to death in an alley.
At approximately 8:45 p.m. that same night, 33-year-old Carrie Waltier was found deceased in the street on the 10000 block of Pinehurst Street in South Gate. South Gate Police responded to the scene, and Homicide detectives from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department were called in to investigate the murder.
Homicide detectives from the Long Beach Police Department and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department determined that the cases were related, and later learned that the victims were boyfriend and girlfriend and had been together before their deaths.
Murillo had been shot and killed at the scene; however, Waltier was abducted from the location and shot to death in Southgate where her body was dumped in the street. Although their bodies were found in two different cities, evidence indicated that it was likely they were killed by the same suspect.
Detectives gathered evidence, including DNA from the scene, but eventually all leads were exhausted and a suspect was not identified at that time.
The field of DNA testing has changed and improved significantly since 2001, and a national DNA database has been created and greatly expanded since then. Continuing advances in DNA testing have allowed for investigators to re-visit cold cases and identify suspects which was not possible before these advances.
In 2008, the Long Beach Police Department was awarded a National Institute of Justice (NIJ) grant to solve cold case homicides. Working with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, LBPD Homicide detectives submitted DNA evidence from the Southgate murder to the Sheriff’s Crime Lab (Scientific Services Bureau). Utilizing this grant, the sample was sent out to a private lab for testing and the lab notified Long Beach Police in October of 2010 that they had obtained a positive match, which identified 33-year-old Juan Pablo Camacho.
Through investigative follow-up, the Long Beach Police Department was also able to connect a third murder to Camacho, which occurred on May 19, 2002. In that incident, officers from the Long Beach Police Department responded to the 300 block of East Esther Street at approximately 8:40 p.m. to a report that shots were fired in the area. When they arrived on scene, they found 32-year-old Richard Graves deceased at the scene. Homicide Detectives from the Long Beach Cold Case Unit investigated this murder and were able to identify Camacho as the suspect.
At the time of this discovery, Camacho was in federal custody in Plattsburgh, New York, as a result of being arrested on weapons charges and illegal entry into the United States, and was awaiting his December deportation to Mexico.
Both police agencies, working in concert, notified federal authorities in New York and obtained an arrest warrant for Camacho for all three murders. Upon his release from federal prison, Camacho was detained on the new arrest warrant and extradition procedures were carried out when Long Beach Police Department detectives traveled to New York and brought him back to Long Beach on December 29, 2010. On January 12, 2011, more than nine years after the homicides, Camacho will be arraigned in Long Beach Court. Camacho is being held without bail in the Los Angeles County Jail on three counts of murder. The motive for these murders is still under investigation.
Without the funding provided by the National Institute of Justice Cold Case Federal Grant program, as well as the hard work of the Long Beach Police Department Cold Case unit and the Los County Sheriffs Department Homicide Bureau, these cases may not have been solved.
Anyone with any information about the Richard Murillo or Richard Graves case is urged to contact Long Beach Police Homicide Detective Bryan McMahon at (562) 570-7244, or to leave an anonymous tip via phone, text or email, please visit www.longbeach.gov/police.
Anyone with information regarding the Carrie Waltier case is asked to conatct Sheriff’s Cold Case Homicide Detective Domenick Recchia at (323) 890-5500. Anonymous tips may be called in to “LA Crime Stoppers” by dialing 800-222-TIPS (8477), or by texting the letters TIPLA plus your tip to CRIMES (274637), or via the website, http://lacrimestoppers.org.