ARIZONA NEWS

Human remains in Mohave County cold case identified

Dec 26, 2023, 3:43 PM

Investigators want to crack a Mohave County cold case involving a man from El Salvador who was shot...

The Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff developed a composite image depicting what the victim may have looked like in life. (Mohave County Sheriff's Office Photo)

(Mohave County Sheriff's Office Photo)

PHOENIX — Investigators with the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office want to crack a decades-old cold case involving a man from El Salvador who was shot and killed in the 70s.

The office released sketches of Luis Alonso Paredes, who was around 30 to 35 years old at the time of his death, on Tuesday.

The 5-foot-8 and 140-pound man was discovered by hikers in a shallow grave on Nov. 23, 1976.

The hikers found his body in the elevated desert area around six miles east of Katherine’s Landing, a popular recreational spot inside the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, police said.

Help needed to crack Mohave County cold case

Detectives at the time said Paredes was shot in the head at close range. Although they took his fingerprints, they couldn’t identify him at the time. The Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff developed a composite image depicting what his face may have looked like in life.

The case went cold until October 2023, when investigators with the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigation Unit reviewed the case.

“The digital images of the victim’s fingerprints obtained in 1976 were compared to all available national fingerprint records, which was not an available resource at the time of the initial investigation,” the Tuesday announcement said.

Upgraded technology enabled investigators to identify him. They said he may have been living or working near Las Vegas at the time of his death. They also believe he may have worked with the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Navy near San Francisco around a decade before his death.

Investigators haven’t been able to find the victim’s family. They urge anyone with information that could help them crack the case to contact the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office Detective Division at 928-753- 0753 ext. 4288.

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Human remains in Mohave County cold case identified