Warrant Issued in ’92 Model Slaying
SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) _ Authorities issued an arrest warrant Friday for an illegal immigrant wanted for the 1992 slaying of an aspiring model after a DNA sample was compared to a statewide database of convicted felons.
Leonardo Pimentel Sanchez, 43, has been charged with the murder of 18-year-old Cari Ann Parnes, who disappeared March 7, 1992. Her beaten body was found in an orange grove near Irvine later that week and was identified a year later.
The murder investigation went nowhere until last February when investigators submitted a DNA sample to compare with those in a statewide database of convicted felons, said Orange County Sheriff’s spokesman Jim Amormino.
The DNA matched Sanchez, whose DNA was obtained after he was convicted of rape in 1989, Amormino said. Sanchez was on parole when Parnes was killed.
Authorities believe Sanchez, who has been deported from the United States eight times, is living somewhere in Mexico but will return again.
``It’s a pattern. He’ll come back and we’ll get him,″ Amormino said.
Parnes’ body remained unidentified at the county morgue for more than a year as her mother, Rosemarie Fekete, sought information from drug dealers, pimps and prostitutes.
``She was a chronic drug abuser who wanted help but just couldn’t seem to hold on,″ Fekete told The Orange County Register in 1993. ``I felt in my heart something terrible happened. ″