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Police make arrest in 15-year-old Pinal County murder case

Oscar Tejeda-Mejia, 59, has been booked into the Pinal County jail on suspicion of killing a 37-year-old man near Stanfield in 2007.

PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. — The Pinal County Sheriff's Office has arrested a suspect accused of killing a man near Stanfield almost 15 years ago. 

Oscar Tejeda-Mejia, a citizen of Mexico, was extradicted to Arizona and booked into the Pinal County jail on Wednesday after DNA tests identified him as a suspect in the murder of 37-year-old Arturo Martinez-Altamirano.

The victim's body was found by hunters on Oct. 29, 2007 in a desert area near the small community of Stanfield, PCSO said. 

Tejeda-Mejia was identified as a possible suspect after the crime but PCSO was not able to locate him.

PCSO investigators reopened the case in 2017 and learned Tejeda-Mejia was living in Mexico. A DNA sample aquired by someone close to the suspect helped PCSO obtain enough evidence to make an arrest. 

The 59-year-old suspect could be charged with first-degree murder. 

"It is our job to make sure violent criminals are not permitted to live freely while their victims' families suffer," said Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb. "We are hopeful this will bring some peace to those who have waited so long for closure."

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Silent Witness: 

Arizona's Silent Witness program allows people to send in tips and share information about crimes happening within their local communities. 

The program shares unsolved felony case information in multiple ways, including TV, radio and social media. 

Anyone who has information on a crime or recognizes a suspect described by the program is asked to call 480-948-6377, go to the program's website online or download the Silent Witness app to provide a tip. The identity of anyone who submits a tip is kept anonymous. 

Calls to Silent Witness are answered 24/7 by a live person and submitted tips are accepted at all times. Submitted tips are then sent to the detective(s) in charge of the specific case. 

Individuals who submit tips that lead to an arrest or indictment in the case can get a reward of up to $1,000. 

Have a tip? Submit it on the Silent Witness tip form here. 

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