Suspect in 1996 Fatal Stabbing of Roommate Extradited to OC

SANTA ANA (CNS) - A 51-year-old man accused of killing his roommate in Santa Ana 25 years ago was behind bars today in the Orange County Jail.

Edgar Ortega Cervantes was extradited from Mexico on Thursday and is being held on $2 million bail pending arraignment Monday in the jail courtroom in Santa Ana, according to Santa Ana police  Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.

Cervantes is accused of fatally stabbing 24-year-old Julio Franco in their apartment in the 500 block of Spruce Street on June 26, 1996, Bertagna said.

The case went cold, but in 2009, detectives submitted forensic evidence to the Orange County Crime Lab from the crime scene that allegedly links Cervantes to the killing, Bertagna said.

Investigators kept working the case and tracked down Cervantes in Mexico, where he was arrested last October and was held pending extradition to Orange County, Bertagna said.

The motive for the killing is still unknown, Bertagna said. Cervantes allegedly made "incriminating statements" during an interview with investigators on Thursday, he said.

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