A 49-year-old Phoenix man has been arrested in connection with the fatal 1992 shooting of a 25-year-old man whose body was discovered in San Bernardino County, authorities announced Friday.
Gabino Mondragon Morales was taken into custody in Phoenix on Oct. 8 after cold case detectives from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department interviewed him regarding the death of Fidelmar Meza Garcia, according to a news release.
Witnesses saw two armed men kidnap Garcia from his residence in Arvin, California, about 11 p.m. on Jan. 11, 1992, the release said. The following morning, he was found shot to death on the side of a road in the Mojave Desert community of Newberry Springs, 170 miles south of his Kern County home.
Homicide investigators interviewed witnesses and several of Garcia’s friends and relatives, and learned that he had worked in the fruit fields in Arvin to support his wife and child in Mexico. For several years, Garcia had lived in the United States throughout the nine-month harvest season and in Mexico during the off-season.
The case went cold despite an exhaustive investigation, officials said. It was reopened on July 3.
Morales was identified as a suspect after detectives interviewed multiple witnesses, the Sheriff’s Department said. The investigators then traveled to Arizona to interview him.
Morales was booked into the Maricopa County Jail on suspicion of homicide. He was transported to San Bernardino County on Thursday and booked into the West Valley Detention Center.
The investigation is ongoing.
Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Jerry Davenport or Detective Rob Trostle at 909-387-3589. Anonymous tips can be submitted at 800-782-7463 or wetip.com.