Israel Lomeli (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
Lomeli makes an initial court appearance on Wednesday. (Source: KPHO-TV)
An informant stepped forward 15 years after the murder and identified Lomeli as the shooter, police said. (Source: MCSO)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
A 32-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the 1998 shooting death of a man whose decomposed body was found in a trash can in a Phoenix alleyway.
An informant stepped forward in February, 15 years later, and identified Israel Lomeli as the shooter and provided the names of several witnesses, police said.
Lomeli was arrested at his mother's home on Tuesday and booked into jail on charges of second-degree murder and possession of a dangerous drug.
On Aug. 24, 1998, witnesses notified police they had discovered a decomposed body in a residential trash can in the alleyway behind the Brunswick Bowling Alley at 7241 W. Indian School Rd.
In 2009, the victim was finally identified as Pete Cadriel, a missing juvenile. The medical examiner ruled he had died of a shotgun wound and ruled the manner of death as a homicide.
Then in February 2013, an informant told police that Lomeli had enlisted help from some of his friends to get rid of the body. One witness told police the murder happened inside Lomeli's garage.
The witness observed Lomeli washing off the concrete early one morning around the same time of the shooting, police said.
That same morning, Lomeli approached two people and asked them to help him move his residential trash can, saying the trash man had missed his house and he had items that needed to be thrown away, officers said.
The witness said the trash can was heavier than normal and they had to lift it into a van to take it to the the location behind the bowling alley, police said. Lomeli later confessed to one of the witnesses that Cadriel's body was inside.
On Tuesday, police served a search warrant on Lomeli's home. Detectives and crime scene personnel said they utilized a chemical process in an attempt to identify blood that had been cleaned up inside the home. The examination identified an area along the north wall in the garage and concrete floor that was indicative of cleaned blood, police said.
At the time of Lomeli's arrest, officers said they found a clear plastic baggie that contained methamphetamine.
Lomeli denied any knowledge of Cadriel's murder and thought he had run away to California, police said.
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