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News Release

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Media Relations

Fugitive on the Run for 27 Years has been Arrested for Murder NR12233rh

Los Angeles: Detectives from Newton Homicide Due-Diligence Team are announcing the arrest of a man for an unsolved 1985 Los Angeles murder.

Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) detectives have been investigating the murder of 30-year-old Arnulfo Medina. On July 10, 1985, around 8:30 p.m., Medina was walking with his girlfriend in the area of 37th Street and Main Street when the suspect, 30-year-old Abel Avila, who is the girlfriend’s brother, approached in his car and confronted Medina.  Avila pulled out a gun and shot Medina killing him. A murder warrant was issued for Abel Avila who remained a fugitive from justice for 27 years.

The motive for the killing was over a love triangle dispute. Avila’s relative was married and was having an affair with Medina.  Avila took offense to the affair, which he believed was affecting his relative’s marriage.

On May 22, 2012, members of the Newton Homicide Due-Diligence Team believed Avila was hiding out in the City of San Jose, California.  After a long surveillance, a probation search, followed by more hours of surveillance, the team located Avila and detained him without incident.  Avila was transported back to Newton Station where he was arrested and booked for murder.

Avila had changed his name and was living under a fictitious identity.  Copies of Avila’s California Drivers Licenses are attached.

Detective Kelle Baitx, Newton Homicide Due-Diligence Team, is the lead investigator and can be contacted at 323-846-6556.  During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247).  Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone.  All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.”  Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.

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