DA Vance Announces Murder Indictment in 1990 Cold Case Homicide

February 21, 2018

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the indictment of PEDRO JIMENEZ, 46, for the 1990 fatal shooting of 19-year-old Mario de la Cruz in Washington Heights. JIMENEZ is charged in a New York State Supreme Court with one count of Murder in the Second Degree. [1]

“Thanks to the hard work and persistence of our prosecutors and investigators, the seemingly forgotten murder of a teenager has been solved,” said District Attorney Vance. “The Cold Case Project’s systematic review of dozens of cold case homicides led to the indictment of Pedro Jimenez, who allegedly committed this brutal act of gun violence before spending nearly three decades living in hiding. We are committed to seeking justice for murder victims and their families, no matter how old the crime.”

According to the indictment and statements made on the record in court, on July 11, 1990, JIMENEZ and Mario de la Cruz, who lived in the same Washington Heights building, began arguing near the corner of West 175th Street and Amsterdam Avenue. JIMENEZ pulled out a gun and shot de la Cruz multiple times in the head and torso, fatally wounding him. JIMENEZ fled the scene and went into hiding – moving from city to city and using multiple false identities – before an investigation initiated by the Office’s Cold Case Project, with assistance from the NYPD’s Cold Case Homicide Squad and 33rd Precinct Detective Squad, led to JIMENEZ’s arrest in Liberty, New York, earlier this month.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Cold Case Project

District Attorney Vance created the Cold Case Project in 2015 to review all open Manhattan homicide cases, many dating back to the late 1980s and 1990s. The Project assesses cold case homicides, identifies potential leads, and conducts investigations, with the goal of solving these crimes and securing justice for victims and their families.

The Cold Case Project is staffed by Senior Trial Counsels Eugene Hurley and Jeanne Olivo, as well as Investigators and former NYPD homicide detectives Ralph Hanna and Robert Stewart. The Project’s work has resulted in five indictments in cold case homicides dating back to 1990.

Assistant District Attorneys Mark Dahl and Paul Mezan are handling the prosecution of this case under the supervision of Senior Trial Counsels Hurley and Olivo, as well as Executive Assistant District Attorney John Irwin, Chief of the Trial Division. Investigators Hanna and Stewart provided valuable assistance with the investigation, as did Senior Investigative Analyst Gillian Fisher.

District Attorney Vance thanked members of the NYPD’s Cold Case Homicide and 33rd Precinct Detective Squads, particularly Sergeant William Kelly, for their assistance with the investigation, as well as the Liberty, New York, Police Department, and the Dade County, Florida, Homicide Squad.

[1] The charges contained in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. All factual recitations are derived from documents filed in court and statements made on the record in court.

Defendant Information:
PEDRO JIMENEZ, D.O.B. 12/14/1971
Liberty, NY

• Murder in the Second Degree, a class A-I felony, one count