Murder suspect in 1998 Salem cold case arrested in southern California

Fernando Cortez, jail booking photo

A murder suspect in a 1998 cold case out of Salem was arrested in southern California.

Fernando Cortez, 38, was arrested in Oxnard, California at 7 a.m. Tuesday.

Police said Cortez shot and killed 16-year-old Alfredo Lopez-Nabor after an altercation involving several people in front of a Circle K store on the 4100 block of Portland Road Northeast on May 9, 1998.

Investigators said the incident was gang-related.

Cortez was 19 years old at the time. Detectives believe he fled to Mexico.

In 2008, a Salem detective was assigned the case as a cold case investigation. The investigation revealed that Cortez had likely moved back to the U.S. and was possibly living in Oxnard, California under a false name.

The Salem Police Department issued an arrest warrant and received assistance from the Ventura County Violent Crimes Task Force and the FBI in locating Cortez.

Investigators said he was living in Oxnard under the alias Moises Garibay.

Cortez was booked into the Ventura County Jail and is facing the charge of second-degree murder. He is being held without bail and awaiting extradition proceedings.

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