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Tuesday, September 16, 2014
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Published: Wednesday, 10/6/2004

Texas man held in '74 Toledo slaying

BY CLYDE HUGHES
BLADE STAFF WRITER

A 61-year-old Texas man was arrested Monday afternoon by Seguin, Texas, police and Texas Rangers for an unsolved Toledo murder that happened 30 years ago, authorities there and in Toledo said yesterday.

David Delacruz of McQueeney, Texas, remained in the Guadalupe County jail on an aggravated murder charge last night and likely will face an extradition hearing today that could send him to Toledo.

Authorities want Mr. Delacruz for the 1974 murder of Ronald Hendricks, 30, at his apartment at 118 22nd St.

Mr. Hendricks died Oct. 3 in Mercy Hospital after he was shot in the abdomen in front of several witnesses. The following week, police issued a murder warrant for Mr. Delacruz, who police believed lived in Saginaw, Mich. Mr. Delacruz was 31 at the time of the murder, police said.

Witnesses told police a man entered Mr. Hendricks' apartment and fought with him before pulling out a handgun and firing one shot.

Witnesses said the man ran out of the apartment immediately afterward.

Toledo police Detective Sgt. Steve Forrester, a member of the Lucas County Cold Case Task Force, said Mr. Delacruz was from Texas and visiting family in Saginaw at the time of the murder.

Sergeant Forrester said he believed revenge was the motive for the killing but declined to provide additional details.

A member of the task force recently discovered there was a warrant out for Mr. Delacruz and searched a law enforcement database for his name, Sergeant Forrester said. He said a person matching Mr. Delacruz's name and birthdate was found in Seguin.

Juan San Miguel, a detective with the Seguin police, said Mr. Delacruz was a self-employed carpenter in the area. Mr. San Miguel said Mr. Delacruz was arrested without incident about 5:30 p.m. at his home in McQueeney, five miles west of Seguin.

He said authorities were able to positively identify Mr. Delacruz partly from a thumbprint motorists are required to give when applying for driver's licenses in Texas.

Sergeant Forrester said the cold case unit had Mr. Delacruz's prints from its investigation.

Sergeant Forrester said the challenge for local law enforcement agents will be to rebuild the case police had against Mr. Delacruz by finding evidence and witnesses that led authorities to file the original warrant against him.

"This is kind of the reverse of how we normally do things," Sergeant Forrester said.

Contact Clyde Hughes at:

chughes@theblade.com

or 419-724-6095.



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