Murder suspect arrested in E.C.

July 16, 2001|By DARREN SIMON, Staff Writer

Salvador Serrato, wanted in connection with a July 1 fatal stabbing, was arrested this morning, according to El Centro police Lt. Paul Longoria.

Serrato, 39, of El Centro, had been a fugitive since the fatal stabbing of 19-year-old Edward De La Cruz of Harbor City.

Serrato was being sought on a murder warrant.

Longoria said at 7:16 a.m., Serrato went to a relatives' home in the 300 block of Villa Avenue and told the relatives he wanted to turn himself in to police.

Relatives contacted the El Centro Police Department and officers quickly responded to the home.

Longoria said the relatives allowed officers into the home and Sgt. Jerrold Novak and Officer Tony Hernandez took Serrato into custody at gunpoint.


Detective Angie Cuevas was interviewing Serrato this morning. He then was to be taken to the county jail to be booked on $1 million bail.

The July 1 stabbing occurred in the 200 block of East Olive Avenue.

De La Cruz was stabbed at least once in the upper chest.

When police arrived, they found De La Cruz on the south curb and a person attempting to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation. El Centro police Officer Aaron Reel joined the lifesaving efforts and the two continued CPR until medical crews arrived.

The stabbing occurred after an alleged altercation between De La Cruz and Serrato, who were acquaintances, police said.

Information on the cause of that altercation has not been released.

Police this morning were continuing to investigate the July 7 fatal stabbing of Adrian Reyes, 19, of El Centro.

Reyes was found by a passerby as he lay bleeding on Scott Avenue west of Imperial Avenue shortly before 12:30 a.m.

He was taken to El Centro Regional Medical Center, where he died before 4 a.m.

Longoria said police have done "extensive" interviews in the case but still have minimal leads.

He asked for the public's help, adding anyone with information should contact police.

Longoria said police strongly suspect passing motorists might have seen the altercation that led to the stabbing and may have even seen the stabbing.

He said anyone who may have been traveling near the USA gas station might have seen the altercation. He added the area near USA is heavy traffic area.

Anyone with information is asked to contact El Centro police Detective Fernando Alvarez at 337-4864.

Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

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