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  1. #1
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    Post CO Cold Case Arrest in FL - Mary Pierce Murder

    http://www.sunnewspapers.net/article...ch2.htm&pnpg=0


    PORT CHARLOTTE -- A local man was arrested at his home Tuesday morning in connection to the slaying of a woman three decades ago in Greeley, Colo.

    Colorado authorities claim DNA evidence links Marcello Maldonado-Perez, 51, of 1567 Page St., to the stabbing death of 22-year-old Mary Pierce in August 1977.

    Maldonado-Perez was arrested without incident just before 8 a.m. Tuesday on a Weld County, Colo., warrant charging him with first-degree murder. The Charlotte County Sheriff's Office assisted the Weld County Sheriff's Office and the U.S. Marshals Regional Task Force of Fort Myers in Tuesday's arrest.

    Pierce was kidnapped Aug. 25, 1977, from a 7-Eleven convenience store in Greeley, where she worked as a store clerk. Her body was found two days later in a cornfield west of Greeley. Greeley is located about 60 miles north of Denver.

    An autopsy revealed Pierce had been sexually assaulted and stabbed multiple times, according to the Weld County Sheriff's Office.

    Multiple law enforcement agencies investigated Pierce's homicide, and at first, there were no suspects, said Weld County Undersheriff Margie Martinez. Authorities would question two brothers about Pierce's death a few years after the homicide, but they were later dropped as suspects, Martinez said.

    Investigators would submit evidence collected from the crime scene for DNA testing in 2003 and 2006, but the case went cold. It appears Tuesday's arrest of Maldonado-Perez likely would have been impossible without a previous arrest in Texas. The man was required to submit DNA samples upon his release last year from a Texas prison, where he served a two-year sentence for possession of a controlled substance, Martinez said.

    With DNA evidence collected from Pierce's body and clothing already in a nationwide database, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation was alerted earlier this year of it matching Maldonado-Perez's samples. Colorado authorities and the U.S. Marshals then located Maldonado-Perez living in Port Charlotte in July. He would not be arrested for another four months.

    Officers diligently spent that time re-examining the once cold case and thoroughly preparing for Maldonado-Perez's arrest, Martinez explained.

    "We went back through the case again, verified all the evidence and relocated witnesses involved (in the investigation)," she said.

    Maldonado-Perez is believed to have resided in the Greeley area during the time of Pierce's slaying, according to Martinez. However, he spent only about six to eight weeks there during that time, she added.

    No immediate family members of Pierce reportedly reside in the Greeley area, Martinez said. Pierce lived in the area while she was attending the University of Northern Colorado, Martinez said.

    Several hours after Maldonado-Perez was taken into custody, many of his neighbors learned of his arrest. Everyone who spoke to the Charlotte Sun was visibly startled by the news.

    "He seemed awfully nice," said a woman, who declined to be identified. "He would come over and talk to me." She said she believed Maldonado-Perez resided for two years in her neighborhood with his wife or girlfriend.

    Maldonado-Perez is being held at the Charlotte County Jail without bond. He will be extradited back to Colorado.
    "Don't play dumb with me, RR! You're no good at it." The Punisher

    "Although no one is anticipating a prompt resolution to this long and much-detoured case, perhaps - just perhaps - might we see one of those moments “when a chance arrow of history scores a perfect bullseye on a deserving target”? Steve Thomas 2009

    "Justice hasn't had a chance so far. Anyone who doesn't have this as their prime goal, we'll have a falling out with." Fleet White - Time Magazine

  2. #2
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    Still no match for JonBenet - for whatever reason....but this is good to know that Colorado is working that DNA database! Here is our Sheriff's Office press release and a picture of Mr. Nice Guy all clean shaved this morning......

    Press Releases Detail

    Arrest of 1977 Colorado murderer made.

    Dec 01, 2009 -

    Three members of the Charlotte County Sheriff's Apprehension Team, deputies from Weld County Sheriff's Office in Colorado, and U.S. Marshals Service regional Task Force of Ft. Myers, arrested Marcello Maldonado-Perez at his Port Charlotte home this morning A warrant was issued Monday for Perez in connections with an Aug. 25, 1977 kidnapping and murder of a 22 year old store clerk in Greely, Colorado.


    The arrest was made at 7:58 a.m. at Perez' residence at 1567 Page St. He was taken to the Charlotte County Jail for booking and will be extradited back to Colorado.
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    Last edited by RiverRat; December 2, 2009, 6:23 pm at Wed Dec 2 18:23:41 UTC 2009.
    "Don't play dumb with me, RR! You're no good at it." The Punisher

    "Although no one is anticipating a prompt resolution to this long and much-detoured case, perhaps - just perhaps - might we see one of those moments “when a chance arrow of history scores a perfect bullseye on a deserving target”? Steve Thomas 2009

    "Justice hasn't had a chance so far. Anyone who doesn't have this as their prime goal, we'll have a falling out with." Fleet White - Time Magazine

  3. #3
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    Post From Greenly news...

    http://www.greeleytribune.com/articl...ntprofile=1001

    Cold case break: Florida man arrested 32 years after Greeley woman's killing
    DNA match made this spring ties man to 1977 murder

    By Mike Peters

    One of the oldest and most baffling murder mysteries in Greeley history made the headlines once again Tuesday when a suspect in the Mary Pierce murder was arrested in Florida.

    Early Tuesday morning, Marcello Maldonado-Perez, 51, was arrested at his home in Port Charlotte, Fla., in the 1977 murder of Pierce. Evidence connecting Maldonado-Perez may have been found years ago, and a DNA match on that evidence was made this spring.

    He has been charged with first-degree murder after deliberation, first-degree felony murder and second-degree kidnapping. While there was evidence of sexual assault, he will not be charged for that because the statute of limitations had expired.

    Maldonado-Perez's stepuncle, Benito Cruz Jr., of southwest Greeley, said he was shocked at the arrest. He said Maldonado-Perez, just five years younger than him, was a “decent guy.”

    “I can't believe it,” Cruz said from his doorstep Tuesday. “If it happened, it happened. But I just can't believe it.”

    Maldonado-Perez was arrested at about 8 a.m. Mountain Time at his home, where he had been living for a year. Weld County Sheriff's Office deputies, while getting initial DNA hits on Maldonado-Perez in April, issued a warrant for his arrest Monday. He is being held in Charlotte County Jail without bail and is awaiting extradition to Colorado.

    Pierce was 22 when she was kidnapped from the downtown 7-Eleven store where she worked on Aug. 25, 1977. Her body was found in a cornfield west of Greeley two days later. She'd been raped and stabbed numerous times.

    Because she was kidnapped from Greeley and her body found in the county, the Greeley police and the Weld County Sheriff's Office teamed up to investigate the case. Years later, the case was turned over to the sheriff's office. Recently, detective Vicki Harbert was placed in charge of the investigation.

    Sheriff John Cooke said that in 2003, crime scene specialist Jan Lemay submitted Pierce's 7-Eleven smock to the CBI labs to get a DNA sample on blood stains on the smock. They did not match Pierce's blood type.

    Later, when Harbert looked into the old evidence boxes in the case, she found a small cardboard box with a glass slide inside. It was labeled “semen sample from Mary Pierce.” That meant they possibly had a sample of the rapist/murderer's semen.

    In 2006, Harbert submitted the evidence slide to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation for DNA testing. The results from the DNA testing were provided to the Weld sheriff's office and placed into a nationwide database.

    In 2009, the DNA from the smock and semen matched DNA samples taken from Maldonado-Perez. He had been serving time in a Texas prison, and prior to his release in 2008, DNA samples were obtained and sent to the national database. It was that database that produced a “hit” on the Mary Pierce case.

    In addition, a fingerprint found on a Pepsi can in the 7-Eleven store on the night of Pierce's kidnapping matched Maldonado-Perez. Also, a witness described a car seen in the parking lot that night, and it matched a car Maldonado-Perez was driving while he was in Greeley in 1977.

    Mary Pierce's sister, Theresa Pierce of Santa Fe, N.M., said she is relieved with the arrest and praised the sheriff's office and investigator Harbert. “I know it's an overused phrase, but this does give us some closure,” Theresa Pierce said. “I hope they've got the right guy and they can put him away forever.”

    The Pierces' parents are deceased.

    The Pierce case has had more strange connections than most cases in Weld County:

    » After a year of investigation and no arrests, the police and district attorney's office secretly brought in a nationally-known psychic to look at the case. Merinus Dykshoorn was flown to Colorado with three police departments sharing the costs.

    In Greeley, he said three men were involved in the Pierce case, so police began to think that the Bautista brothers had an accomplice.

    » Looking at autopsy diagrams of the stab wounds on Pierce's body, a detective “connected the dots,” and it showed the initials “JB” were formed by the stab wounds. That brought back the names Juan or Jesus Bautista.

    » For 10 years, some of the original evidence was kept in a storage room, including some plastic containers labeled “Semen samples.” In 1988, the Weld County District Attorney's Office brought Juan Bautista to Greeley to stand trial. The sample jars, still sealed, were sent to a DNA lab in New York. When the lab tech opened the jars, he found that they were empty. The CBI had removed the semen samples, resealed the jars and sent them back to Greeley. There was no semen sample at that time to connect the Bautistas, and Juan was sent back to Texas.

    Now, it appears another semen sample has made a final connection in the case — to Marcello Maldonado-Perez, who will be brought to Greeley as soon as extradition is approved.
    "Don't play dumb with me, RR! You're no good at it." The Punisher

    "Although no one is anticipating a prompt resolution to this long and much-detoured case, perhaps - just perhaps - might we see one of those moments “when a chance arrow of history scores a perfect bullseye on a deserving target”? Steve Thomas 2009

    "Justice hasn't had a chance so far. Anyone who doesn't have this as their prime goal, we'll have a falling out with." Fleet White - Time Magazine

  4. #4
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    About the brothers mentioned as origianl suspects....

    "The day of the arrest also was the same day Pierce's friend, Debbie Stanley, planned to stop by her grave in the Evans cemetery to leave a Christmas wreath.

    Stanley, who was a friend of Pierce's and still lives in Greeley, visits her grave several times during the year to leave flowers. “Today was a special day,” Stanley said Tuesday. “Everything is a lot brighter now.”

    Two brothers, Juan and Jesus Bautista, have always been considered the main suspects in the case, but investigators weren't able to make a direct connection. At the time, the brothers were in Greeley and admitted to shopping at the 7-Eleven store on the night Pierce was kidnapped.

    The brothers were living in Texas and had bragged to others about a woman store clerk in Colorado that they had killed. However, no direct evidence was ever found to connect the brothers to the murder. When the newest DNA samples were compared to the Bautistas', there was no match.

    The brothers are now serving time for another, unrelated murder in Texas."
    "Don't play dumb with me, RR! You're no good at it." The Punisher

    "Although no one is anticipating a prompt resolution to this long and much-detoured case, perhaps - just perhaps - might we see one of those moments “when a chance arrow of history scores a perfect bullseye on a deserving target”? Steve Thomas 2009

    "Justice hasn't had a chance so far. Anyone who doesn't have this as their prime goal, we'll have a falling out with." Fleet White - Time Magazine

  5. #5
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    Arrest Warrant:

    http://www.greeleytribune.com/assets/pdf/GR61127122.PDF

    Dear Mary...may your Spirit fly more free now and peace ends your journey. Love, RiverRat
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    "Don't play dumb with me, RR! You're no good at it." The Punisher

    "Although no one is anticipating a prompt resolution to this long and much-detoured case, perhaps - just perhaps - might we see one of those moments “when a chance arrow of history scores a perfect bullseye on a deserving target”? Steve Thomas 2009

    "Justice hasn't had a chance so far. Anyone who doesn't have this as their prime goal, we'll have a falling out with." Fleet White - Time Magazine

  6. #6
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    Post The Denver Post article

    http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_13900131

    Prosecutor formally charges Florida man in 1977 Greeley murder

    "The Weld County District Attorney has charged a a Florida man with murder in the 1977 abduction and murder of a Greeley convenience store clerk, authorities say.

    Marcello Maldonado-Perez, 51, was formally charged this afternoon with first degree murder, felony murder and kidnapping in the death of Mary Pierce, 22, who was abducted Aug. 25, 1977 from a 7-Eleven in the 1100 block of 9th Street, said Jennifer Finch, spokeswoman for prosecutor's office.

    Florida, federal and Weld County authorities arrested Maldonado-Perez without incident at his Port Charlotte home just before 8 a.m. this morning.

    The prosecutor did not charge Maldonado-Perez with rape because the statute of limitations had expired for the crime, Finch said."

    The autopsy indicated she had been sexually assaulted and stabbed multiple times, Sheriff John B. Cooke said in a news release.

    Sheriff's spokeswoman Margie Martinez said she was stabbed 17 times."
    "Don't play dumb with me, RR! You're no good at it." The Punisher

    "Although no one is anticipating a prompt resolution to this long and much-detoured case, perhaps - just perhaps - might we see one of those moments “when a chance arrow of history scores a perfect bullseye on a deserving target”? Steve Thomas 2009

    "Justice hasn't had a chance so far. Anyone who doesn't have this as their prime goal, we'll have a falling out with." Fleet White - Time Magazine

  7. #7
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    WOW, RR...thanks for bringing this here...it is certainly nice to know that there is at least delayed justice!
    It's probably too late to get justice for JonBenét. Maybe it always was. But knowing where things went wrong is the first step to not going there again. **-- Alan Prendergast-Dec 21, 2006--**

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  8. #8
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    Default I'm surrounded , Moab...

    Keep trying get on with my break, and BAM! Does the word cosmic ring a bell? And the missing little 3 year old boy found ALIVE yesterday, well, right down the road and I watched it live on the news when he was reunited with his Mommy! Sighs...what's a Rat to do?

    http://www.greeleytribune.com/articl...ntprofile=1001

    "Mary Pierce's sister, Theresa Pierce of Santa Fe, N.M., said she is relieved with the arrest and praised the sheriff's office investigators. "I know it's an overused phrase, but this does give us some closure," Theresa Pierce said. "I hope they've got the right guy and they can put him away forever."
    "Don't play dumb with me, RR! You're no good at it." The Punisher

    "Although no one is anticipating a prompt resolution to this long and much-detoured case, perhaps - just perhaps - might we see one of those moments “when a chance arrow of history scores a perfect bullseye on a deserving target”? Steve Thomas 2009

    "Justice hasn't had a chance so far. Anyone who doesn't have this as their prime goal, we'll have a falling out with." Fleet White - Time Magazine

  9. #9

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    This is good stuff, Rat. Thanks for the good news.

    And thanks for clarifying the "brothers" as suspects stuff. Those disappearing DNA samples kinda had me flummoxed.

    "University of Colorado Law Professor Paul Campos declared the letter a 'reckless exoneration.' He went on to state, 'Everyone knows that relative immunity from criminal conviction is something money can buy.
    Apparently another thing it can buy is an apology for even being suspected of a crime you probably already would have been convicted of committing if you happened to be poor.'"
    FF: WRKJB?

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  10. #10
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    Cool River Rat,

    Yes, thank you for bringing this here. It is so good to hear of cleared COLD CASES. And since it is a Colorado case this makes me a tiny bit more hopeful that someday our case may be a solved cold case. I do say just a bit more hopeful and have to measure that out. Our case could be solved if only the current crop of detectives look with wide open eyes. Not all cases can be solved by DNA or other CSI magic fairy dust. So lets continue to hope that we will have some good old fashioned police work done and the real killer will be caught.
    "When are we going to get our heads out of the sand and understand that sometimes really nice people who look good on the outside are dastardly on the inside." Wendy Murphy, former prosecutor, MA

  11. #11
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    For 10 years, some of the original evidence was kept in a storage room, including some plastic containers labeled “Semen samples.” In 1988, the Weld County District Attorney's Office brought Juan Bautista to Greeley to stand trial. The sample jars, still sealed, were sent to a DNA lab in New York. When the lab tech opened the jars, he found that they were empty. The CBI had removed the semen samples, resealed the jars and sent them back to Greeley. There was no semen sample at that time to connect the Bautistas, and Juan was sent back to Texas.
    And people wonder why there might be reason to question how the CBI has handled DNA samples in the Ramsey case.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Why_Nut View Post
    And people wonder why there might be reason to question how the CBI has handled DNA samples in the Ramsey case.
    That thought crossed my mind, as well, Why Nut. How can semen samples from a murder victim not only disappear, but the CBI sends sealed, empty jars back to the investigating agency? That sounds like someone was trying to hide that the evidence was lost.

    So many questions arise.... Heck, the article doesn't even make a lot of sense.

    "University of Colorado Law Professor Paul Campos declared the letter a 'reckless exoneration.' He went on to state, 'Everyone knows that relative immunity from criminal conviction is something money can buy.
    Apparently another thing it can buy is an apology for even being suspected of a crime you probably already would have been convicted of committing if you happened to be poor.'"
    FF: WRKJB?

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