Crime - Sacto 911

Suspect arrested in 1992 Placerville cold case killing

Placerville police say that a suspect in a 1992 homicide has been arrested in the Bay Area and booked into El Dorado County Jail.

Jorge Luis Ponce Barajas, 40, was arrested by Richmond police on March 20 in Richmond, Contra Costa County.

An arrest warrant had been issued for Barajas in 1992 after the El Dorado County District Attorney’s office filed charges against him. There had been an outstanding arrest warrant for Barajas ever since.

Barajas had been sought in the homicide of Inez Martinez Castaneda of Diamond Springs, who was killed Sept. 30, 1992, at 3029 Airport Road in Placerville following a fight with two men over a vehicle, according to a Sacramento Bee story at the time.

Castaneda, 23 years old when he was killed, was shot in the chest. The men, identified by a witness, fled in a gray Ford Mustang.

Placerville police detectives suspected that Barajas may have fled to Mexico just after the homicide.

“Older cases such as these present inherent challenges,” said Chief Scott Heller. “That said, I trust justice will prevail, albeit 22 years after this tragic incident occurred.”