Los Angeles: On May 18, 2022, members of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Foreign Prosecution Liaison Unit took a murder suspect into custody at the Los Angeles International Airport after 32 years of avoiding apprehension.
On November 16, 1990, the suspect, a documented gang member in Los Angeles, was standing on a sidewalk in a Hollywood neighborhood along with the female victim and other gang members. The suspect became involved in a verbal argument with the victim and pointed a shotgun at the victim’s head and fired point-blank killing the victim instantly. After the murder, the suspect fled the country to Guatemala and went into hiding.
The investigation revealed that the suspect was a Guatemalan National and that he was living with his mother at her residence in the town of Achiotillos Monjas, Jalpa, Guatemala. On January 24, 1991, an affidavit for international extradition was signed for the suspect.
The State Department Office of International Affairs, the United States Embassy in Guatemala and Guatemalan Law Enforcement Officials began efforts to execute the provisional arrest warrant that had been issued for the suspect. The investigation revealed that the suspect became aware that law enforcement was looking for him and fled his mother’s residence and went into hiding. With the passing of time and no new leads on the suspect’s whereabouts, the case went dormant and the provisional arrest warrant expired.
Through the years, investigators from the Los Angeles Police Department’s Foreign Prosecution Unit and the United States Marshal Service Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Task Force continued doing due diligence on the case in hopes of developing new leads on the suspect’s whereabouts. In April of 2017, investigators got a break in the case when the State Department’s Regional Security Officer in Guatemala discovered that a person using the suspects name and identifiers had obtained an identification card in Guatemala including a recent address. Surveillance was conducted by Guatemalan law enforcement which confirmed that the person was in fact the suspect wanted in Los Angeles for the 1990 murder.
All information was submitted to Los Angeles Police Department West Bureau Homicide Detectives and the District Attorney’s Office at Extradition Services Unit to re-new and activate the extradition request for the suspect in Guatemala. On January 25, 2021, the request for the suspect’s extradition was completed, finalized and submitted to the Office of International Affairs (OIA) in Washington DC.
On February 8, 2021, Giovani Gonzalez was arrested in Guatemala. On May 3, 2022, he was ordered to be extradited to Los Angeles and, on May 18, 2022, he was booked for 187(a)PC-Murder (his booking No. 6381466).
Photograph of Giovani Gonzalez at time of arrest and at the time the crime was committed
Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to contact Detective Batres at (323) 727-8617. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (1-877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or www.lacrimestoppers.org Tipsters may also visit www.lapdonline.org and click on “Anonymous Web Tips” under the Get Involved-Crime Stoppers menu to submit an online tip.