HUSBAND FACES TRIAL FOR SUFFOCATING AND MURDERING WIFE IN ANAHEIM BEFORE DUMPING BODY OFF FREEWAY IN LOS ANGELES

Orange County District Attorney
Press Release


Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701

For Immediate Release
Case #07NF2623
 


 


November 24, 2010

Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
Office: 714-347-8408
Cell: 714-292-2718

Farrah Emami
Spokesperson
Office: 714-347-8405
Cell: 714-323-4486

HUSBAND FACES TRIAL FOR SUFFOCATING AND MURDERING WIFE IN ANAHEIM BEFORE DUMPING BODY OFF FREEWAY IN LOS ANGELES

 

SANTA ANA – A husband faces trial Monday for suffocating and murdering his wife in Anaheim before dumping her body on the side of a freeway in Los Angeles County. Angel Duarte Cerna, 38, Santa Ana, is charged with one felony count of murder and faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in state prison if convicted. Opening statements are expected to begin Monday, Nov. 29, 2010, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-28, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

 

In 2006, Cerna is accused of living in Anaheim with his wife, Gabriella Herrera, and her two young sons from previous relationships.

 

In the early morning of Nov. 6, 2006, Cerna is accused of suffocating and murdering Herrera. He is accused driving her body from Anaheim to Los Angeles County and dumping her on the side of California State Route 60. Cerna is accused of then going 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 is accused of moving 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 is accused of quitting his job and telling 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.

 

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