On May 17, 1997, 15-year-old Luis Andrea Parra died after he sustained a single gunshot wound while inside a residence located in the 400 block of North Delaware Street. The shooter, 21-year-old Venancio Cortez Miramontes, fled the residence before police arrived. Investigators learned Miramontes likely fled the country to avoid police apprehension. A nationwide warrant was issued for Miramontes’ arrest.
In early 2019, a Chandler Police Detective assigned to the United States Marshal’s Service (USMS) task force developed information on Miramontes possible whereabouts. This data placed Miramontes residence in Fauquier County, Virginia. Acting on this break, the USMS in Warrenton, Virginia, conducted surveillance on this possible location for Miramontes. Twenty-two years to the day of Parra’s death, Miramontes was arrested without incident.
“Miramontes believed that he had gotten away with murder,” said United States Marshal David Gonzales. “His arrest was the result of determination and dedication by Chandler Police Detectives, working in conjunction with the U.S. Marshals Service, in ending Miramontes’ 20-year run. Investigators never forgot the 15-year-old victim, and his family.”
Chandler Police Chief Sean Duggan said, “The tenacious efforts of our Robbery/Homicide Unit when investigating cold cases has been highly successful. This particular effort once again shows the men and women of the Chandler Police Department are determined in their pursuit of justice.”
Miramontes is currently being held on the 1997 arrest warrant in the Fauquier County Jail. The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office will eventually return Miramontes to Arizona. When he is returned, Miramontes will be booked into the Maricopa County Jail on one count of Manslaughter.
The Chandler Police Department would like to thank the United States Marshal’s Service and the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office for their efforts and collaboration in the apprehension of Venancio Cortez Miramontes.