Fugitive Sought in Deadly Anaheim Shooting in 2000 Arrested in Texas

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Leopoldo Vargas Serrano, 47, pictured in a photo released by the Anaheim Police Department on Oct. 11, 2019.
Leopoldo Vargas Serrano, 47, pictured in a photo released by the Anaheim Police Department on Oct. 11, 2019.

A man accused of shooting a co-worker to death during an argument in Anaheim 19 years ago was returned to California to face charges this week after he was found living under an assumed identity in Texas, authorities said Friday.

Leopoldo Vargas Serrano, 47, was brought back to Orange County and booked into jail on Thursday, according to Anaheim Police Department Sgt. Shane Carringer. He was found and apprehended in Houston on Sept. 11 and had been held in the custody of U.S. Marshals since.

He’s accused of shooting and killing Luis Garcia Bucio, 21, of Anaheim on Oct. 16, 2000, outside a business in the 1600 block of Miller Street,  officials said.

“The investigation revealed Serrano, a co-worker of Bucio, shot Bucio during an argument,” Carringer said in a written statement.

Investigators obtained an arrest warrant for Serrano on Nov. 2, 2000, the sergeant said. But the murder suspect could not be found, and remained at large until last month.

Anaheim police and Orange County District Attorney’s Office investigators discovered in early-2019 that Serrano had been living under an assumed name in Houston, Texas.

Houston Police Department officer helped Anaheim police search Serrano’s home in Houston on Sept. 11, Carrington said.

“On that same date, Serrano was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents for unlawful entry,” the sergeant said. “Following the ICE arrest, the Orange County District Attorney’s Science and Technology Unit assisted Anaheim detectives in confirming Serrano’s identity through Rapid DNA technology.”

Bail for Serrano was set at $1 million pending his initial court appearance.

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