Homicide suspect Francisco Miranda arrested after nearly 20 years on the run
Updated On: Feb 25 2013 06:02:38 PM CST
One of Pennsylvania's top 10 fugitives is now behind bars, thanks to the persistence of Bethlehem police.
Francisco Miranda is accused of stabbing a man to death nearly 19 years ago before going on the lam. He told police he's been looking over his shoulder ever since.
Part of the neighborhood where the homicide happened has been torn down and rebuilt.
The houses may have changed, but police said but the facts remain the same.
Jorge Velsaquez was stabbed in the heart on June 12, 1994, and dropped off at St. Luke's Hospital in Fountain Hill, Lehigh Co., where he died, police said.
Bethlehem police figured out Velasquez was stabbed after a group of people were playing dominoes at a home in the 600 block of Aaron Street on the city's south side, near the former Bethlehem Steel.
Witnesses claimed they saw Miranda, then 30, stab Velasquez, also 30. Miranda then disappeared, police said.
Detective Mark Diluzio was working in vice back then and helped homicide detectives search for Miranda.
"I do remember the scene. I do remember the people involved and the emotions at that time, and it does leave a mark on you," said Diluzio.
Six years later, Diluzio, now a homicide detective, reopened the cold case and started tracking Miranda. Call it good old-fashioned police work or persistence, it paid off.
Miranda was located in the Dominican Republic, and the wheels were set in motion to catch him and bring him back to be prosecuted.
After nearly 19 years and a lot of teamwork between state, federal and international law enforcement, Miranda is now behind bars in the Northampton County Prison.
"You can run but you can't hide. We are going to to continue to come after you using every resource available, federal, state and loca,l to bring you to justice," said Chief Jason Schiffer, Bethlehem Police Dept.
"We do believe that, even though time has passed and it is a case that is essentially 20-years-old, we believe that this case can be successfully prosecuted," said Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli.
Copyright 2013 WFMZ. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Wind hampers efforts to fight 5-alarm fire at motel in Muhlenberg
Driver killed when car hits tree on Route 10 in Berks
Man killed when hit by minivan near airport
Reading police officer charged in theft of money evidence
BBQ food truck in danger of being shut down by township
Feds: Schuylkill County firm attempted to smuggle machinery to Iran
Man killed, woman seriously injured in motorcycle crash
Woman pleads guilty to homicide by vehicle
MH370 search: Object not from plane
Drug cartel actions in Mexico force local grocers to increase lime prices