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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : opinions : opinions June 24, 2016

2/8/2014 2:01:00 PM
Editorial: 'Cold Justice' may very well bring true justice for Marisol Gonzalez
Marisol Gonzalez
Marisol Gonzalez

Whether it's a class assignment, a financial report, or meeting minutes for a non-profit board of directors, there is something to be said for a second set of eyes.

The same obviously now can be said for homicide investigations.

Specifically, the Cottonwood Police Department's 17-year investigation into the murder of Marisol Gonzalez and her unborn son.

Despite a dogged determination to solve the case, there were always those nagging loose ends that kept it in that no-man's land between strong belief and legal certainty.

Now, after all these years, the Cottonwood community and family of Marisol Gonzalez are seeing the shift from strong belief to what can only be hoped for as legal certainty.

The second set of eyes in this case came from TNT's "Cold Justice" television program.

Building upon the foundation of detective work done over the years by Cottonwood Detective Sergeant Tod Moore and Police Chief Jody Fanning, Friday's "Cold Justice" airing of the Marisol Gonzalez investigation revealed that the Yavapai County Attorney's Office will at long last take the case to a grand jury.

The man police have long suspected as being responsible for the double homicide is now officially the centerpiece of the case that will be presented to the grand jury.

The best-case scenario will be the return of an indictment on two counts of first-degree murder and a successful prosecution of the case.

On March 25, 1997, the 16-year-old Gonzalez - nearly full term in her pregnancy -- was found dead in an alley after having been shot in the face.

The murder has haunted the Cottonwood community and its police department for nearly 17 years now. Chief Fanning was a patrol corporal assigned to detectives when Ms. Gonzalez was murdered. He has repeatedly said that resolution of this case is his primary goal before he retires.

While the return of an indictment and a successful prosecution are no guarantee, there is now the kind of hope that has eluded the Gonzalez family for nearly two decades.

That hope is the direct result of the perseverance of the Cottonwood Police Department.

More importantly, Chief Fanning and Detective Moore showed exemplary character in tossing their egos aside and asking for a second set of eyes to review the case.

After all these years, there is renewed hope that there will be justice for Marisol Gonzalez.

Related Stories:
• County attorney declines on taking Marisol Gonzalez homicide to grand jury

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, February 13, 2014
Article comment by: Cottonwood looked good?

Don't get me wrong, I think the Cottonwood cops and the Cold Justice team did a great job working together, and hopefully all that work will result in conviction of the right person. I'll be just as proud and happy as anyone else.

But how anyone can say that the show made Cottonwood look good, when most of the environmental footage was designed to give the impression that Cottonwood was Sedona? LOL So many of those "around town" shots were of red rocks, and not in the distance as they would be from Cottonwood, but right close to where they were driving!

Couldn't help but find that hilarious.

Prayers with the Gonzales family, that justice will finally be done for them and their daughter and grandson.

Posted: Sunday, February 9, 2014
Article comment by: Congrats to all involved

Have to say Cottonwood looked really good in this show.

Hopefully justice will now be served and our community will see some closure over this.

Congratulations to all involved and especially to Cottonwood PD. Proud of you guys.

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