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FBI Seeks Help In Finding 2005 Santa Rosa Murder Suspect

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Ricardo Puentes Jr. (Santa Rosa Police Dept.)

Ricardo Puentes Jr. (Santa Rosa Police Dept.)

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SANTA ROSA (CBS SF) – The FBI and Santa Rosa police are asking for the public’s help in locating a suspect in a 2005 murder.

Ricardo Puentes Jr., 35, is suspected of fatally shooting 27-year-old Semere Haile Girmai at an apartment in Santa Rosa on Jan. 15, 2005.

Santa Rosa police allege that Puentes and two other men went to the apartment at 4019 Hoen Ave., where Puentes allegedly shot Girmai five times and shot a Fresno man in the arm.

Shortly after the murder, investigators identified Puentes as a suspect, along with Matthew Edward Moore, who was 21 at the time, and Omar Chavez, who was 22. Police said the slaying was drug-related.

Charges against Moore were dismissed in 2005 for lack of evidence. Chavez was arrested in 2007, and two separate juries deadlocked on the murder charges against him.

Chavez pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, and was sentenced in 2010 to five years in prison, according to Sonoma County Superior Court records.

Puentes remains at large. The FBI describes him as 5 feet 8 inches tall and 190 pounds. He has black hair, brown eyes and several moles on his face. He has ties to Meridian, Miss., And Everett, Wash., FBI officials said.

The FBI has obtained a federal arrest warrant for Puentes. Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI at (415) 553-7400.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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