Man arrested in 1998 murder of missing 17-year-old - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Man arrested in 1998 murder of missing 17-year-old

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Israel Lomeli Israel Lomeli
PHOENIX -

Phoenix Police say they arrested a man who they believe killed a missing juvenile in 1998.

On Aug. 24, 1998, witnesses found a decomposed body in a trash can in an alleyway near Indian School Road and 75th Avenue, behind a Brunswick Bowling Alley.

Investigators weren't able to identify the body because he was unrecognizable and had no identification.

A piece of mail was found inside the dumpster addressed to a home in the area, but the owner of the home denied knowing anything about the dead body.

The medical examiner eventually ruled the death a homicide.

In 2009, the body was finally identified as 17-year-old Pete Cadriel through DNA and dental records after detectives compared their case to the missing person's report his mother had filed in 1998.

In February 2013, police say a source identified 32-year-old Israel Lomeli as the person who shot and killed Cadriel. The person also said Lomeli got rid of the body with help from his friends.

Detectives identified and interviewed several witnesses. One witness told police Lomeli contacted him the night of the murder and allegedly confessed to shooting Cadriel.

Police say another witness saw Lomeli washing off the concrete in his garage one morning and thought it was very odd. The room was usually cluttered and dirty, but had been cleaned out and washed off.

That same morning, two witnesses told officers Lomeli asked them to help him move his trash can because the trash man had forgotten his house and he needed to empty it.

They say the trash can was heavier than normal and took all three of them to move it. Police say Lomeli and the two witnesses moved the trash can into the same alleyway behind Brunswick Bowling Alley.

Lomeli allegedly confessed to one of the witnesses that Cadriel's body was inside the trash can.

On Tuesday, detectives and crime scene officers went to Lomeli's home and used a chemical process to show blood had been cleaned up in part of his garage.

Lomeli was arrested at his mother's home near 67th Avenue and Butler Drive on Tuesday. Police say they found meth in his possession.

When interviewed, police say Lomeli denied any knowledge of Cadriel's murder and said he thought he had run away to California.

Cadriel's family says Lomeli still spent time with them and even worked with Cardriel's sister after the alleged murder.

"He would smile at my face and say, 'One day were gonna find him'...like he was my true friend," said Ruth Santos, Cadriel's sister.

Lomeli faces charges of second degree murder and possession/use of a dangerous drug.

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