Porterville police say they have solved a cold-case murder from 10 years ago and have arrested a man in Los Angeles.
He was identified as Raul Pedro Facio, 32, formerly of Porterville.
“Evidence collected from the scene that has since been processed” linked him to the murder, Sgt. Rick Carrillo said.
Facio has been charged with murder and two special circumstances of rape and rape by instrument, which could make him eligible to face the death penalty if found guilty.
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On Feb. 4, 2006, the body of Melissa Martin, 28, was discovered just before noon at the Porterville Drive-In theater on North Newcomb Street.
The case was not forgotten.
Porterville Police Department
According to news accounts at the time, Martin was found in a storage building and had signs of trauma caused by a sharp weapon. At the time, police said it was not clear whether she had been sexually assaulted.
A 22-year-old man who reported the incident was arrested.
Both Martin and the man were homeless, had known each other for four or five years, and occasionally stayed with relatives and friends in the Porterville area, police said at the time.
Porterville police said Thursday that detectives interviewed numerous people at the time and pursued leads over several months but came up empty. Two years later, detectives looked again at the case without success.
Still, “the case was not forgotten,” police said.
On May 3, police learned that Facio had been identified as a suspect and had been arrested in Los Angeles on an unrelated case.
On May 25, Porterville detectives interviewed Facio in the Los Angeles County Jail and obtained an arrest warrant.
Wednesday, the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office filed a murder charge against Facio.
Investigators are working with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to transfer Facio to Tulare County authorities.