|For Immediate Release
Case # 07NF2623
December 14, 2010
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
HUSBAND CONVICTED OF SUFFOCATING AND MURDERING WIFE IN ANAHEIM BEFORE DUMPING BODY OFF FREEWAY IN LOS ANGELES
SANTA ANA – A husband was convicted today of suffocating and murdering his wife in Anaheim before dumping her body on the side of a freeway in Los Angeles County. Angel Duarte Cerna, 39, Santa Ana, was found guilty by a jury of one felony count of murder and faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in state prison at his sentencing Dec. 20, 2010, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-28, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
In 2006, Cerna lived in Anaheim with his wife, Gabriella Herrera, and her two young sons from previous relationships. In the early morning of Nov. 6, 2006, Cerna suffocated and murdered Herrera. He drove her body from Anaheim to Los Angeles County and dumped her on the side of California State Route 60. After dumping the victim’s body, Cerna went to work that morning at a car dealership in Buena Park.
Herrera’s two children discovered the victim missing when they awoke for school and she wasn’t home. Family members reported the victim missing to the Anaheim Police Department (APD) that day and Herrera’s children were sent to stay with their biological fathers.
On Nov. 8, 2006, two days after the murder, Cerna moved out of his Anaheim home without telling anyone. On Nov. 10, 2006, Herrera’s unidentified body was discovered by law enforcement after receiving an anonymous tip. That same day, Cerna quit his job and told co-workers that he planned to move out of the country.
Herrera remained unidentified for several weeks until Dec. 30, 2006, when the Los Angeles County Coroner identified the body using Department of Motor Vehicle fingerprint records. Following an investigation by APD, Cerna was arrested July 19, 2007, for the murder.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Howard Gundy of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.