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News Release

Friday, March 1, 2002

Media Relations

Border Investigation Leads to Capture of Triple Murder Suspect

"Border Investigation Leads to Capture of Triple Murder Suspect"


Press Conference

Hollenbeck Operations Support Division Homicide Detectives

Hollenbeck Area Community Police Station
2111 E. 1st Street, Los Angeles

Friday, March 1, 2002
3:00 p.m.

Los Angeles: Hollenbeck Community Police Station Homicide Detectives have been conducting an ongoing investigation of the murder of three people that occurred in the Lincoln Heights area. These murders occurred on New Year's Day, January 1, 2002, at 5:30 in the morning during a walk-up shooting at a New Year's Eve party that was occurring in the 100 block of West Avenue 28. As a result of this shooting, three victims, Leonel Mendival (29 years of age), Juan Manuel Torres (20 years of age) and Felipe Meza (27 years of age) were killed. A fourth victim, Veronica Cortez was also struck by the gunfire.

Hollenbeck Detectives conducted an extensive investigation and determined that Javier Olivares was responsible for the this crime. Homicide Detectives reviewed this case with the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office and obtained a felony warrant for the arrest of Javier Olivares. On January 17, 2002, Councilman Ed Reyes offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Olivares.

On February 28, 2002, at 11:00 p.m., suspect Olivares was attempting to cross the United States/Mexico border from Mexico into the United States. At that time, Olivares provided a copy of a birth certificate, which caused INS agents to question him further. Olivares was evasive in his responses to questions posed by the INS agents causing additional investigation. Olivares had no other identification so he was detained for further investigation. INS subsequently fingerprinted Olivares which revealed Olivares' true identity and the fact that there was a felony warrant for him for the triple murder that occurred on January 1, 2002. INS subsequently notified the Los Angeles Police Department, Hollenbeck Homicide Detectives, that Olivares was being detained at the San Ysidro INS facility. Hollenbeck Detectives have responded to the San Ysidro INS facility to take custody of Olivares.

This arrest culminates this investigation, as Olivares was the remaining outstanding suspect. Suspect Marcia Estrada, the driver of the vehicle during this incident, was in custody for another crime and remains in custody on the felony warrant for murder.

The Los Angeles Police Department would like to thank the Immigration and Naturalization Service for their outstanding work in capturing this fugitive.

This press release was prepared by Officer Guillermo Campos, Media Relations Section.