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July 26, 2013


Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:00 am

SANTA ANA – A man who was extradited to Orange County from Mexico will be arraigned today for the 1992 cold-case rape and murder of a 19-year-old woman. Leonardo Pimentel Sanchez, 56, Mexico City, is charged with one felony count of murder during the commission of rape. He has two prior felony strike convictions for a 1978 robbery and 1984 rape and digital penetration. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole. The defendant was arrested in Mexico in November 2012, and extradited to Orange County July 23, 2013, following extradition proceedings. Sanchez is scheduled to be arraigned today, July 25, 2013, in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana. The time is to be determined.

Between March 16, 1992, and March 19, 1992, Sanchez is accused of raping and murdering 19-year-old Cari Ann Parnes in an orange grove orchard in Irvine. Days later, field workers found her decomposing body. A clump of the victim’s hair was found next to the body. She had skull and jaw fractures due to blunt force trauma, and major hemorrhaging in her brain, neck, spine, chest and abdomen. The field workers called 911 and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) responded to the scene.

During the investigation in 1992, DNA collected from the victim’s body was tested but no match was made and the case went cold.

The case remained unsolved for eight years until 2000, when the OCSD linked Sanchez to the murder through DNA from the 1992 rape kit.  At the time of the DNA hit, the defendant is accused of having 27 aliases, 12 different dates of birth and five driver’s licenses. An arrest warrant was subsequently issued for Sanchez.

In November 2012, Sanchez was taken into custody in Tijuana for causing a disturbance in a business. The Mexican authorities notified OCSD investigators that they had Sanchez in custody and the extradition proceedings began.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Steve McGreevy of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.

Orange County District Attorney / Case # 00SF0657 / July 25, 2013


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