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Arrest in Arizona shakes dust off 12-year-old murder case

A cold murder case heated up Tuesday when authorities in Arizona arrested the only identified suspect in a shooting that killed a man 12 years ago in a south Modesto alley.

Jose Luis Oseguera, 35, of Modesto, was arrested on suspicion of murder and was detained at the Maricopa County Jail, according to the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department.

Arrangements were being made to transport Oseguera today to California, said deputy Royjindar Singh, a sheriff's spokesman.

Detectives believe Oseguera shot and killed Hazael Diaz Luengas, 25, of Modesto, behind a house in the 1600 block of Imperial Avenue, just west of Crows Landing Road.

Luengas reportedly arrived at the home about 10:30 a.m. on June 28, 1994. Eight to 10 other people were at the house at the time.

Witnesses told deputies they saw the two men arguing in the alley, but they couldn't hear what the argument was about.

Detectives believe Oseguera pulled out a small semiautomatic pistol and fired two to five shots at Luengas.

Two bullets struck him, one in the arm and another in the chest. Paramedics tried to revive Luengas, but they were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Three days later, detectives identified Oseguera as the prime suspect. But investigators didn't know where Oseguera was until Maricopa County sheriff's officials notified them that they had arrested him at the Gila River Vee Quiva Casino, just southeast of Phoenix.

Oseguera was arrested on suspicion of public intoxication at the casino Friday.

Singh said Maricopa County sheriff's officials discovered a murder arrest warrant out of Stanislaus County, but they weren't able to confirm the warrant before Oseguera bailed out of jail Sunday. They were able to find him again Tuesday and make the arrest, Singh said.

The Sheriff's Department asks anyone with information about this case to call Detective Marc Nuno at 525-7081. Callers also can leave an anonymous tip with CrimeStoppers at 521-4636 and may be eligible for a cash reward.

To comment, click on the link with this story at Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be contacted at or 578-2394.