By CBSLA Staff

SANTA ANA (CBSLA) — A man identified through DNA in connection with a 1996 murder was arrested in Mexico, police said Friday.

(credit: Santa Ana Police Department)

Edgar Ortega Cervantes, 51, was extradited back to California and released Thursday to the custody of Santa Ana police homicide detectives.

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Police say Cervantes was linked to the June 27, 1996 murder of 24-year-old Julio Franco of Santa Ana. Franco was found stabbed to death in a home in the 500 block of South Spruce Street. Detectives at that time found no witnesses to the murder and the case went cold.

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Cold case homicide detectives took up the case again in 2009 and identified potential items of forensic evidence. The evidence was sent to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Crime lab for analysis, and turned up a DNA profile for Cervantes, police said.

Cervantes was arrested in October of last year in Mexico, and finally extradited back to California this month with the help of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. Police say Cervantes was booked on suspicion of murder after making incriminating statements to detectives.

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The motive for murder is still not known. Anyone with information about the case can call Santa Ana police homicide detectives at (714) 245-8390.