Published: 2:18 pm, Tue. Jan. 24th, 2017Updated: 2:18 pm
A continuing investigation by Roswell Police Department detectives has resulted in the arrest of a suspect in a murder that occurred nearly 13 years ago.
What had been a cold case since the shooting in February 2004 has turned into a first-degree murder charge against Juan Olivares Jr., 33, who has been living in Avondale, Ariz., for the last three years. Olivares was arrested shortly before 10 a.m. at his home in Avondale, a suburb about 20 miles west of Phoenix.
Avondale police arrested Olivares on a Roswell warrant. RPD lead detective for the case, Robert Scribner, and Det. Chris Bradley traveled to Arizona to be present when Olivares was taken into custody and questioned the suspect following his arrest.
Olivares, who was 20 at the time of the murder, is charged with killing Jonathan Ledesma, 22. The RPD worked closely with the Fifth Judicial District Attorney’s Office in reviving the cold case, with further investigation in the years since the murder.
“Although a case is however old, homicides are never forgotten,” said Cmdr. Levi Moody of the RPD Criminal Investigation Division. “They are always being researched and investigated in hopes of giving closure to the victim’s family and bringing justice.”
The murder occurred Feb. 21, 2004, shortly before 1 a.m. in an alley in the 300 block of East Hervey Street in southeast Roswell. Investigators believe Olivares shot Ledesma while the two men were in the alley near the residence of another acquaintance. It is believed some sort of prior personal dispute led to the shooting.
Olivares was also shot that night in the alley, but the RPD’s investigation has led detectives to believe Olivares shot himself after shooting Ledesma. Investigators believe Olivares’ wound was self-inflicted to create an injury that was part of a fabricated story Olivares told investigators involving an unknown assailant shooting both him and Ledesma that night.
Olivares is being held in a jail in Maricopa County, Ariz., while he awaits extradition to Roswell.