FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Case # 15CF2751

Date: July 21, 2017

MAN CONVICTED OF MURDERING WOMAN AND LEAVING HER BODY IN SANTA ANA PARKING LOT IN 2007

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man was convicted yesterday of murdering a woman in 2007 following an investigation by the Orange County Cold Case Homicide Task Force (OCHTF).

Defendant

Charges

Maximum Sentence

Court Date

Jose Esteban Cardenas Zuniga, 41, Mammoth Lakes

Found guilty by a jury on July 20, 2017, of one felony count of:

  • First Degree Murder

25 years to life in state prison

Sentencing

 Aug. 11, 2017, 9:00 a.m.

 Department C-35, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana

Circumstances of Case

  • On or about Oct. 20, 2007, Zuniga murdered 24-year-old Yacshicka W. by strangling her and leaving her body outside in a parking lot of a commercial business center in Santa Ana.
  • Hours later, transients discovered the victim’s body and contacted Santa Ana Police Department, who began investigating this case.
  • Orange County Crime Lab investigators collected DNA evidence from the victim’s body and stored it in the state database.
  • In 2013, a DNA hit matched the defendant after an unrelated arrest in Santa Ana.
  • OCHTF reopened the investigation and Zuniga was charged with murder after sufficient evidence was gathered including additional witness interviews.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Walker of the Homicide Unit prosecuted this case.

 



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