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Crime News Cold Cases

Man Arrested For Murder At Los Angeles International Airport After 32 Years On The Run

Police say 32 years ago Giovani Gonzalez shot a woman in the head at close range, killing her instantly. He was taken into custody earlier this month at Los Angeles International Airport. 

By Constance Johnson
A police hand out of Giovani Gonzalez now and at the time the crime was committed

A murder suspect was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport more than 30 years after the “documented gang member” allegedly shot a woman in the head at point blank range, killing her instantly.

Members of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Foreign Prosecution Liaison Unit took Giovani Gonzalez, 51, into custody on May 18 after 32 years on the run, according to a press release from the LAPD.

He was charged with one count of intentional murder. He’s being held without bail at the North County Correctional Facility.

On Nov. 16, 1990, the victim and other gang members were standing on a sidewalk in a Hollywood neighborhood along with Gonzalez, according to authorities.

Police said he had a verbal argument with the victim and “pointed a shotgun at the victim’s head and fired point-blank killing the victim instantly.”

After the murder, Gonzalez fled the country and was believed to be hiding in Guatemala this entire time.

Police said Gonzalez was a Guatemalan national living with his mother in the town of Achiotillos Monjas, Jalpa, Guatemala.

On Jan. 24, 1991, an affidavit for international extradition was issued for the suspect.

Police said Gonzalez fled his mother’s home and went into hiding after learning that multiple agencies, including the State Department and the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala, were trying to arrest him.

“With the passing of time and no new leads on the suspect’s whereabouts, the case went dormant, and the provisional arrest warrant expired,” police said.

Over the years, members of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Foreign Prosecution Unit and the United States Marshall Service Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Task Force continued to work on the case, trying to develop new leads, police said.

They got a break in 2017 when investigators discovered that someone was using the suspect’s name and had obtained an identification card in Guatemala, which included a recent address.

That individual was placed under surveillance and Guatemalan law enforcement confirmed this was Gonzalez, the man wanted for the 1990 murder in Los Angeles.

All the information was turned over to the Los Angeles Police Department West Bureau Homicide Detectives and the District Attorney’s Office at Extradition Services Unit.

On Jan.25 of 2021, a request for the suspect’s extradition was completed.

The following month, on Feb. 8, 2021, Gonzalez was arrested in Guatemala.

This year on May 3, he was ordered to be extradited to Los Angeles.

Gonzalez has a court appearance scheduled for later this month on June 27.

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