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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : latest news : latest news September 14, 2014

1/14/2014 1:45:00 PM
TNT's hit show 'Cold Justice' comes to Cottonwood for Marisol Gonzalez case
Marisol Gonzalez
Marisol Gonzalez

COTTONWOOD -- Marisol Gonzalez was a top student at Mingus Union High School, had lots of friends and a close-knit family that loved her.

At 4-feet, 10-inches tall, Marisol was known as a kind, special person with an ever-present smile who found joy in family and nature. She also loved reading poetry and loved everyone, especially babies. Marisol never missed school. She was equally fluent in English and Spanish and volunteered as a peer tutor in a high school English as a Second Language class.

In the summer before her junior year, Marisol began dating one of her neighbors and classmates, Cecilio Cruz. Marisol hadn't gone out with many boys, but she was taken in by Cecilio's seemingly heartfelt affection and eventually fell for him -- he was her first love. However, she quickly came to realize that she was far from the only one that he loved, and they broke up. Soon after, she found out she was pregnant. With the love and support of her family and friends, she decided she was going to have the baby.

Months later, on March 25, 1997 around 10 p.m., Marisol - now full term in her pregnancy - told her sister she was waiting for a call from Cecilio, and went outside with a cordless phone. That was the last time she was seen alive. Around 6 a.m. the following morning, her body was found in an alleyway a block away from her house. She had been shot one time in the face. To this day, Marisol's family, friends and the entire Cottonwood Community are shocked and devastated by her murder and that of her unborn child, Andrew -- and they desperately want justice (Source: excerpt was taken from the website of TBS, "Cold Justice").

Cottonwood PD's Criminal Investigations Division,Detective Sergeant Tod Moore reopened the Marisol case in 2009.

In 2012, police representatives, under the direction of Chief Jody Fanning, contacted Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (TNT) requesting their assistance in helping solve this double murder through TNT's syndicated "Cold Justice" program.

In "Cold Justice," Kelly Siegler, a former Texas prosecutor for 21 years who has successfully tried and won 68 murder cases and Yolanda McClary, a former crime scene investigator who worked more than 7,000 cases in her 26 years at the Las Vegas PD, are putting their knowledge and experience to work helping local law-enforcement officers and families of the victims get to the truth bringing dangerous criminals to justice and providing closure for the families of their victims.

With a fresh set of eyes on old evidence, well-honed interrogation skills and access to advanced DNA technology and lab testing, Siegler and McClary are determined to help bring about a legal and emotional resolution to the Marisol Gonzalez double homicide case working in conjunction with Cottonwood Chief Jody Fanning and Detective Sergeant Tod Moore. Assisting Siegler, McClary and Det. Sgt. Moore and his staff of CID detectives, were "Cold Justice" retired homicide detective Alan Brown, an 8-year veteran homicide detective with the Houston, TX Police Department, and retired homicide detective Armando Perez, a 12-year veteran homicide detective with the Dallas Police Department.

On Oct. 14, 2013, TNT "Cold Justice" filming crews started arriving in Cottonwood to begin setting up the filming of this episode. A few days later the homicide professionals arrived. The investigation and its filming took place Oct. 17-24. The combined investigation effort involved contacting over 90 investigative leads throughout Arizona. Investigators put in 16- to 19-hour days and traveled hundreds of miles in those two weeks.

The airing of this episode of "Cold Justice" is set for Feb. 7, 2014 on the TNT channel.

Contact the reporter at jhutchinson@verdenews.com or Twitter @_jhutchinson

Taylor Waste
Related Stories:
• Commentary: Perseverance, hope remain firm in Marisol Gonzalez murder case
• 1997 Marisol Gonzalez murder case remains on Cottonwood PD radar

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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Article comment by: Shawna Burns

I watched the Marisol episode last night for the first time. One thing jumped out at me. In Ceceilo's interview he says the baby is fine. Then his next comment is" She was going to have a baby." Shouldn't he have said , she is having a baby. If he did not know that she was dead then why would he use a past tense? It was not mentioned in the episode again, but it stuck with me throughout the show. It floored me how absolutely cold that is of him.

Posted: Friday, February 14, 2014
Article comment by: Wendy Smith

I felt that this show shined a light on the person or persons responsible for this crime and they can no longer hide behind threats and bullying of other witnesses. Those who are making it hard for the police to do their jobs should be prosecuted. This was a sad case, and senseless death of two innocent people. Those who are out there that know something regarding this case and are not saying anything, should be ashamed of themselves. How can you look yourself in the mirror each day and be ok with it,you have no conscience at all.

Posted: Thursday, February 13, 2014
Article comment by: S. Smith

What I don't understand is why did her family not look for her if she was just going outside for a phone call and never came back. Why was she found at 6am the next morning??

Posted: Monday, February 10, 2014
Article comment by: J. M. Foster

I disagree with Toby. The show incorporates smart and savvy local law enforcement while adding the additional resources of investigators to achieve a common goal-ridding the streets of murderers.

Posted: Sunday, February 9, 2014
Article comment by: Jim D

I watched the show. First let me say I believe Cottonwood wants this solved and I believe they know who did it. But what a waste of an hour. They shed nothing new on this. Hearsay and Speculation will get you no where in the courts and I would be amazed if they got a indictment. I hope im wrong but I saw nothing in the program that would get it that far.

Posted: Sunday, February 9, 2014
Article comment by: Ex boyfriend to be indicted?

According to the show, supposedly the ex-boyfriend will be indicted.

Hope the VI follows up on the status.

Posted: Saturday, February 8, 2014
Article comment by: William Elms

The show, Cold Justice was fantastic. It showed how these investigators go the extra mile, to bring closure to the families. The investigators, along with Cottonwood Police Dept. have finally put all the pieces of the puzzle together. Now, I hope the Yavapai Count Attorney's Office hands down a Murder 1 charge against Cecilio Cruz. When the police question a father about a child's murder and all he wants is an attorney???? Well that says a lot. My thoughts and prayers are with the Gonzalez family and I hope justice is served......

Posted: Friday, February 7, 2014
Article comment by: Toby Hand

The show is a joke.

Posted: Friday, February 7, 2014
Article comment by: Samantha Erakovich

Was he ever indicted by the grand jury?????

Posted: Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Article comment by: monica magana

its about time, she deserves justice I pray they finally get him for this terrible crime...praying for her family always

Posted: Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Article comment by: So,,,, ...

Does this mean they've solved the case?

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